LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall kicks off the 2014 season on Saturday when the Diplomats host Brockport State at 1:00 p.m. at Tylus Field. The Diplomats will look to make their 10th Centennial Conference Championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the 15th time in school history this season.
To watch the season preview video, click here.
F&M returns 17 members, including seven starters, from last year's team that finished the season with a 16-5, 8-1 CC record and advanced to the regional finals of the NCAA Playoffs. With a heavy mixture of experienced players and a solid freshmen class, the Diplomats are poised to win their sixth CC Crown and make their fifth appearance in the NCAA Final Four.Returners Attack Caroline Krohn, Sr. Emily Everdell, Jr. Brittney Jorgenson, Jr. Ali Kelly, Sr. Kimberly Abruzzo, Jr.
Midfield Mary Mitchell, Sr. Anastasia Mergner, So. Casey Madden, Jr.
Defense Kelsey Hoffman, Sr, Christie Bonfiglio, Sr. Samantha Blicht, So. Caroline Doran, So.
The strength of the Diplomats this season is at attack where F&M has five players returning from a year ago. Krohn headlines the group with 71 points, including, 41 goals and 30 assists last season and earned First Team All-CC, All-Region and Third Team All-America honors. Everdell received honorable mention from the conference last season, ending the year with 40 points on 33 goals and seven assists. Jorgenson tallied 49 goals with seven assists while Kelly finished the year with 21 tallies. Abruzzo was a threat as well at attack with 18 points.
Mitchell racked up 41 points with 28 goals and 13 assists last year and was named to the All-Region Second Team. The senior recorded 23 draws, picked up 13 ground balls and finished with 34 goals and 15 helpers. Mergner had 43 draw controls, 16 grounds balls and 11 points while Madden ended the year with 21 goals, 10 assists and 19 ground balls. Emily D'Erasmo and Grace Saliba will also see significant time at midfield.
Hoffman anchors the defense for the third straight year from the cage this season. She earned Third Team All-America, First Team All-Region and First Team All-Centennial honors last year. The senior allowed just 8.39 goals per game with 149 saves and had a 49.8 save percentage. Helping run the defense from the field is Bonfiglio, Blicht and Doran. Bonfiglio caused 13 turnovers and finished with 15 draws, Blicht had 11 caused turnovers and 25 ground balls while Doran finished last season with 26 ground balls and 10 caused turnovers. Freshmen Sarah Bozzo and Hannah Thomas have performed well during the preseason and will look to contribute early this season.
The Road Ahead
The Diplomats will face five teams in the top-20, including two of the top four. No. 1 Salisbury, No. 3 Middlebury, No. 6 Gettysburg, No. 7 TCNJ and No. 11 York all appear on F&M's 2014 schedule. The Diplomats open conference play on March 22 against Muhlenberg.
The Diplomats are ranked fifth by both the Lacrosse Magazine preseason poll and the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWCLA) preseason poll.
F&M picked up three first-place votes and 67 points in the CC Preseason Coaches Poll, just short of Gettysburg's 70 points.
Follow Along (Social Media)
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