CLEARWATER, Fla. – Grace Saliba's free position goal with 1:04 left to play proved to be the difference as No. 1 Franklin & Marshall defeated Messiah 11-10 in non-conference women's lacrosse action Wednesday morning. The Diplomats improved to 6-0 while Messiah dropped to 3-4.
Messiah jumped on the board first with a goal at 26:29 before Anastasia Mergner found Gabby Frank two minutes later and tied the game at 1-1. The Falcons scored three straight to lead 4-1, but Mergner and Frank connected again to stop the run and bring the Diplomats within two. Messiah went up 5-2 at 7:11 and the Diplomats responded with goals from Emily Everdell and Claire Jackson to end the half, and went into the break trailing 5-4.
Claire Stikeleather put Messiah up 6-4 early in the second and F&M countered with three straight to take its first lead of the game, 7-6, at 17:33. Paige Moriarty hooked up with Frank to start the run and then finished off a feed from Natalie Delinsky before Saliba found Samantha Blicht for her first collegiate-goal.
The Falcons tied the game four minutes later and the teams traded a pair of goals over the next eight minutes for a 9-9 tie with 5:44 left to play. Saliba fed Jorgenson at 3:20 to put F&M up 10-9, but Jenna Stover struck for Messiah a little under a minute later to tie the game at 10-10, which set up Saliba's game-winner.
Frank finished with three scores while Everdell and Moriarty had two and Blicht, Jackson, Jorgenson along with Saliba all scored once. Saliba added three helpers and Mergner finished with two assists and seven draws.
F&M returns to action on Saturday when the Diplomats open Centennial Conference action at Muhlenberg. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m.