CHESTER, Pa. – A seven-goal second-half surge powered No. 1 Trinity to an 11-6 victory over Franklin & Marshall in the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Semifinals Saturday evening at PPL Park. F&M finished the season with a 20-3 mark, while Trinity improved to 21-1 and will face Cortland in tomorrow's championship game.
"I'm really proud of this group of young ladies," said head coach Mike Faith. "We definitely put this as a goal, and to make it here this year was great. The best part about this weekend was that the team was ready for this weekend. They came out and played well in the first half and we just have to tip our hats to Trinity. They played a great second half. I thought they just beat us with some ground balls and the game slipped away from us in the second half."
The game was a tale of two halves.
Trinity jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with two free position goals eight minutes into the game and the Diplomats answered with four straight to go up 4-2 with a little under 10 minutes to play. Paige Moriarty struck unassisted at 21:21 to kick off the run, and Gabby Frank found twine four minutes later to tie the game at 2-2. Moriarty fed Brittney Jorgenson at 15:47 to give F&M its first lead of the contest, and Grace Saliba found Frank to put F&M up two, 4-2, with 9:30 left in the half.
The Bantams responded with a goal from Allie Barret at 6:47 to pull within a goal. F&M went a player-down with a little under two to play and looked to clear the ball and enter the half with a one-goal lead, but a turnover with under 30 seconds left to play led to a Abby McInerney score with 1.7 ticks on the clock and sent the game into the break tied at 4-4.
It was all Trinity in the second half as the Bantams went on a 7-0 run and took the lead for good. Trinity started its run at 24:45 and used good ball control to continue the spurt, with McInerney netting the seventh goal to give the Bantams an 11-4 lead with 7:32 left in the contest.
F&M kept fighting and answered with two goals in less than 30 seconds to come within five, 11-6, with 3:04 on the clock. Moriarty found Jorgenson for the first score and Natalie Delinsky connected with Saliba for the final tally of the game. Trinity forced a turnover after the ensuing draw and was able to run out the clock to secure the win.
Samantha Blicht caused two turnovers and collected three ground balls to pace the defense. Danielle Harrington dropped to 11-2 with six stops in the cage, while Emily Mooney improved to 8-1 with three saves.
Trinity held a slight 18-14 edge in shots and both teams came away with nine draws.