April 26, 2009

No Dipping: F&M Wins Centennial Crown Again

from press releases

LANCASTER, Pa. - Blake Hargest scored four goals and assisted on another to lead #2 Franklin & Marshall to a 14-7 win over #4 Gettysburg in the Centennial Conference (CC) women's lacrosse championship final on Sunday. The victory marked the third championship for the Diplomats (17-1) in as many seasons. All three championship wins came against the Bullets (14-3).

Hargest factored in three of the first four goals as F&M exploded out of the blocks. Hargest's quick stick on a Shannon Summers feed got the Diplomats off and running. Less than 90 seconds later, it was Hargest's turn to feed a Jen Pritchard quick stick. 25 seconds after that Hargest once again set up shop on the goal circle and banged home a Sarah Meisenberg feed.  

That was the final goal Hargest factored in on during the opening salvo, but not the final shot across the Bullets' bow. 69 seconds after Hargest's second, Lauren Ehrhardt collected another Summers behind the net feed to make it 4-0, 4:12 into the game. It was 12 minutes before another shot went in. Summers found herself on the scoring end of the equation to make it 5-0 with 13:53 left in the first half.

After weathering the initial storm, Gettysburg settled in and began chipping away at F&M's lead. Lexie Hearn got the Bullets on the board with 12:33 left in the half on one of Gettysburg's seven free position shots in the game.

Her tally accounted for half of the free position attempts the Bullets were able to cash in on.  Lidia Sanza turned away the bulk of the free position shots. The junior stood tall on her third Conference Championship Sunday with 14 saves in the F&M victory.

Hearn's marker was quickly answered by Ehrhardt to make it 6-1. Hollis Stahl and Nina Emala returned the behind the net feeding favor with 9:18 in the half, followed by Hearn scoring on her own with 3:04 left, taking the game into the break at 6-3.

Pritchard opened the second half with a free position tally less than two minutes in.  67 seconds later, Emala fired home the Bullets' other free position goal, igniting her team's best run of the day. Hearn weaved through the Diplomats' defense and completed her hat trick by beating Sanza on the right side of the cage to make it 7-5 with 26:07 left in the game.  Lauren Woodman got the Bullets within one, 7-6, less than three minutes later.

F&M responded on its next possession. The Bullets double-teamed Summers behind the back right corner of the net. Feeling the pressure, she split the orange defenders and rolled out front of the goal circle where she flipped it to Hargest for an easy open look for her third tally of the day. It rightfully held up as the game-winner.

The play sparked F&M's 6-1 run to the wire that included all three of Meredith Lussier's unassisted goals in the game as well as Hargest's fourth and final score. Emala scored her second of the day to break up the assault on Gettysburg's net. She finished the game with four points.

Summers and Hargest each recorded five points for F&M, while Lussier had four. The Diplomats cashed in on two of their three free position attempts in the game and held a 13-10 advantage on the draw circle.  The Bullets had the advantage in nearly every other statistical category.

Notes: The Diplomats earned the NCAA's automatic qualifier and will wait for next weekend's announcement to learn their playoff fate... The CC title game featured Franklin & Marshall and Gettysburg in each of the past seven years... The Diplomats have won seven-straight over Gettysburg since April 21, 2007... Pritchard registered four points this weekend leaving her eight shy of the F&M record of 312... Summers needs seven points to become the third Diplomat to reach the 300-point plateau; she scored her 150th goal today... Sophomore, Meredith Lussier, needs eight goals to become the sixth active Diplomat with 10o career goals... Sarah Meisenberg needs four assists to become the fifth Diplomat to reach 100 in her career.

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