LANCASTER, Pa. -- No. 7 Franklin & Marshall starts its 2018 season on Saturday when the Diplomats travel across town to take on Elizabethtown. The Diplomats graduated a wealth of talent from last year, but a strong core of seniors this season combined with an extremely talented group of underclassmen, have the Diplomats ready to defend their Centennial Conference Crown.
Click here to meet the 2018 women's lacrosse team.
F&M returns 19 players, including five starters from last year's team that claimed their seventh Centennial Conference (CC) Crown and 12th overall conference championship while advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the fifth straight year and winning 15 or more games for the 11th time in the last 12 years after compiling a 17-5 overall record.
Click here to watch Mike Faith talk about the upcoming season.
Senior Paige Moriarty headlines the attack unit and will start for the fourth consecutive year. Moriarty was named Inside Lacrosse Attacker of the Year and earned All-America First Team for the second consecutive year last season, collecting her third straight All-Region award and being named All-Centennial Conference (CC) for the third year in a row.
She led the Centennial with 101 points and was the only player to eclipse 80 points. Her 56 goals were third in the CC while her 45 assists placed second. Moriarty scored a goal in all 22 of the team's games, including eight contests of three scores or more.
Senior Hannah Serling and sophomore Grace Norley will start at attack. Serling tallied 19 goals and 13 assists while also collecting 18 ground balls last season. Norley played in 17 games with 24 goals and three assists. Freshman Megan Jackson will look to make an immediate impact as will sophomore Clare Monaghan and freshman Jane Cote. Senior Aly Saliba will provide valuable leadership as well.
Junior Maddie Hughes starts at midfield for the second year. She earned All-Conference honors for the first time last year, landing on the First Team. She ranked second on the team with 34 goals and third with 42 points, while also ending the year with 24 ground balls and 18 caused turnovers.
Katie Groenke will start for a third year after compiling 17 goals with four helpers last year. Groenke added 19 ground balls with 11 caused turnovers. Senior Ryann Laible and junior Caroline Kolva will add valuable depth at the midfield. Freshman Juliann Lisovicz and sophomore Clare Monaghan will see significant time as well.
Sophomore Maggie Hanzsche will shift to a more prominent role on defense this year. She started all 22 games last season with 16 ground balls and 15 caused turnovers and helped anchor a defense that was 12th in the country with just 6.28 goals allowed per game. Freshman Anya Chopoorian gets the opening day nod at the other defensive position with sophomores Katharine Yenke and Kate Myrick, along with freshman Emma Arronson, adding depth to the position.
Returning for the fourth straight year in net is Danielle Harrington. Harrington went 15-5 last season, allowing just 6.75 goals per game with 120 saves and a 50% save percentage.
The Diplomats were picked second in the 2018 CC Preseason Poll. Gettysburg was picked first with Muhlenberg, Dickinson and Washington grabbing the other three top-five spots. F&M is ranked fourth in Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Poll and the seventh in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWCLA) Preseason Poll.
Mike Faith, now in his sixth season, will be joined on the sideline by Brooke Sabol and Emily Eddowes. Sabol replaces Katie Zichelli, who took the head coaching job at Haverford, while Eddowes moves into the position vacated by Meg Bartley, who became an assistant coach at George Washington.
The Diplomats begin 2018 on Saturday, Feb. 17 with a road tilt against Elizabethtown at 1:00 p.m.
A total of seven teams from last year's NCAA Tournament field appear on the Diplomats' schedule, including a Feb. 24 matchup in the program's first-ever game in Shadek Stadium against a W&L team that reached the 2017 Final Four.
CC action starts off at home against Swarthmore on March 24, while the CC Tournament runs from May 2-6. NCAA Playoffs begin with the First Round on Saturday, May 12 with the Final Four taking place in Salem, Va. on May 26-27.
Look for the icon below, which can be accessed at the top-right of the 2018 women's lacrosse schedule when viewed on your computer, or bottom-left of all schedules on your mobile device.
All F&M home contests are streamed in HD video, free of charge at GoDiplomats.com/Live and simulcast on the Centennial Conference Digital Network (CCDN). Fans can also follow the action through the live stats page, found here.
Centennial Conference Digital Network (CCDN)
The Centennial Conference announced a partnership with Stretch Internet to become the conference's digital network provider and establish a central location for all CC athletic events. Broadcasts that are present in the Stretch portal are exclusively produced by each of the 11-member institutions of the conference.
In addition to its Roku channel, the Conference will have three new over-the-top (OTT) applications to make broadcasts available – Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Android TV. Home broadcasts that are produced by all 11 members will be available on CentennialConference.TV and the OTT apps.
Follow Along (Social Media)
All of your favorite Diplomat athletic teams are available on social media. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram, like them on Facebook and subscribe to the Diplomats YouTube page for frequent highlight videos of games throughout the season.