HAVERFORD, Pa. – The No. 4 Franklin & Marshall women's lacrosse team closed the regular season with its sixth win against an opponent ranked in the ILWomen/IWLCA Top 25 during a 18-11 victory at No. 22 Haverford on Saturday. The win also assured F&M (15-2, 8-1 CC) of the No. 2 seed in the Centennial Conference Tournament where these same two teams will meet in exactly one week during the semifinal round.
The Diplomats raced out to an 11-4 lead during the first half and led by eight on two different occasions throughout the second half before securing the 18-11 final in their favor. Three hat tricks led the way for the Franklin & Marshall attack. Maddy Birch scored four goals and dished out one assist, while Madison Bray and Lane Lambeth also found the back of the net three times. Ally Marino (2g, 1a) and Sydney Lowe (1g, 2a) both added three-point outings during the nationally-ranked showdown.
F&M took the lead with a four-goal run after the Fords tallied the opening goal of the contest. Multi-goal scorers Birch, Bray, and Marino all got their days started in the first quarter before Gillian Brennan found the back of the cage. The Diplomats featured a pair of 3-0 runs during the second quarter. The first run was started by Bray and featured two goals just 55 seconds apart from Lambeth. Maisie O'Shea cracked the scoreboard midway through the period before Birch added two more before the half. Bridget Kane also scored during the final three-goal stretch as F&M led 11-4 at the break.
Marino's goal at the 6:50 mark of the third period was the first time F&M had claimed an eight goal lead, 13-5, on the afternoon. That came just minutes after Lowe scored the first F&M goal of the second half. Lambeth capped her hat trick with a goal that came with just nine-tenths of a second remaining in the third quarter.
Lydia Cassilly and Megan Bizub added their names to the scoresheet, running the Diplomats' advantage up to 16-9 with just 10 minutes remaining in regulation. Birch and Bray opened the scoring for F&M on Saturday and they also finished it with the final two Diplomat goals of the game.
F&M finished the contest with a 42-26 advantage in shots. The teams evenly split the 32 draw controls, with 16 each, but the Diplomats held a 20-9 advantage in ground balls. On top of her hat trick, Bray secured eight of her team's draw controls. She also led the ground ball effort with four collections. Six different Diplomats came away with multiple GBs on Saturday. In goal, Emily Kitchin made eight saves and limited Haverford to just 2-of-7 on its free position chances. Four players - Izzy Spagnuolo, Erin Phillips, Marino, and Kitchin - each caused multiple turnovers on the afternoon.
With its playoff position officially locked in, the Diplomats will look to take down Haverford twice in two weeks as these teams meet in the Centennial Conference semifinal next Saturday, May 7 at Gettysburg. The game time will be determined on the Centennial Conference playoff call early next week. The CC Championship is slated for Sunday, May 8.