LANCASTER, Pa. – Paige Moriarty scored six goals and handed out two assists to lead No. 2 Franklin & Marshall to an 18-12 victory over Muhlenberg in Centennial Conference (CC) women's lacrosse action Saturday afternoon at Tylus Field. The Diplomats improved to 7-1, 1-0 CC while the Mules dropped to 6-1, 0-1 CC.
Grace Saliba finished the game with a goal and four assists and became just the sixth player in program history to record 100 or more assists in a career.
F&M jumped out to an early 3-0 lead with two goals from Gabby Frank and a goal from Anastasia Mergner in the opening four minutes of action. Muhlenberg struck on a free position before the Diplomats rattled off five straight and took an 8-1 lead midway through the first half. Natalie Delinsky found Moriarty to start the run and Frank buried a pass from Moriarty before feeding Saliba and Groenke three minutes apart for a 7-1 F&M lead. Delinsky finished the run with an unassisted tally at 14:39.
Muhlenberg answered with a 5-1 run to make it a three-goal game, 9-6, at the break.
The Mules struck early in second to come within two, 9-7, but Claire Jackson scored a minute little to put F&M up 10-7. Muhlenberg came within two, 11-9, at 24:29 and the Diplomats countered with three straight and took a 14-9 lead with 19:10 left to play. Saliba found Moriarty to start the spurt and Frank fed Delinsky at the 23-minute mark. Bridget O'Donnell fed Maddie Hughes to end the run before the Mules put one on the board at 18:48.
Moriarty scored back-to-back goals off passes from Jackson and Mergner to make it 16-10, and Mules managed a score at 9:40 on a free position to come within five, 16-11. With 6:58 left to play, Saliba found Claire Miller before Miller connected with Delinsky 50 seconds later to make it 18-11. The Mules snuck one through with 2:30 left to play for the final score of the game.
Frank finished with three goals and three assists and Delinsky netted three and finished with a helper. Maddie Hughes, Miller and Jackson all had a goal and an assist while Mergner recorded a goal and two assists.
Mergner caused five turnovers to pace the defense, came away with four draws and had two ground balls. Vanessa Budd had three caused turnovers, three draws and two caused turnovers while Peyton Annese finished with two ground balls and two caused turnovers.
Danielle Harrington picked up the win five saves and improved to 4-0 and Kiersten Mulvey took the loss with seven stops.
F&M outshot Muhlenberg 36-19, went 13-for-16 in clear attempts and forced 24 turnovers.
The Diplomats return to action on Wednesday when F&M hosts Catholic at 4:00 p.m.