LANCASTER, Pa. – The No. 8 Franklin & Marshall women's lacrosse team is moving on to the Sweet 16 after a 16-14 win against No. 16 Roanoke on Sunday afternoon. The Diplomats were up 9-3 at the half on the strength of a 7-1 advantage during the second quarter. That lead grew to 14-7 at the end of the third before Roanoke's big fourth quarter ended in a 16-14 final in F&M's favor.
Nine different Diplomats scored during the win, featuring a game-best six points from Lydia Cassilly (4g, 2a). Lauren Pittman added a hat trick with three goals and an assist, with Sydney Lowe adding five points on two goals and three assists. Gillian Brennan also scored twice in the win, while Madison Bray, Maddy Birch Adde Hollander, Kate McLam, and Sarah Delaney all added their names to the score sheet.
The two sides were tied at two-all after 15 minutes of play, with F&M answering a pair of Roanoke goals. The Diplomats took their first lead of the afternoon when Brennan opened the second period scoring before that tally was answered. However, Franklin & Marshall closed the half on a 6-0 run that included three goals from Cassilly in a span of just under five minutes. All six of those goals came in a span of just over eight minutes.
Franklin & Marshall matched its largest lead of the afternoon when the run reached 7-0 following Lowe's goal just 47 seconds into the third quarter. Roanoke snapped its skid with back-to-back goals, but the teams continued to exchange scores. Ultimately the period ended with Birch and Delaney scoring with 43 and 13 seconds left in the quarter to match the seven-goal lead at 14-7 heading to the final 15 minutes.
Roanoke started the final period with three goals in a span of just 1:34 as the lead was cut to 14-10. Pittman stopped that spurt just 38 seconds later, but back-to-back tallies from the Maroons made it 15-12 with 9:15 remaining in regulation time. This time it was Hollander who tallied with 7:39 left in the game to push the lead back to four, 16-12. The Maroons continued to press on and scored another two consecutive goals that came just 15 seconds apart, prompting an F&M timeout with 5:04 showing on the game clock.
F&M was still facing a man-down situation after that last goal brought the score within two, but the Diplomats got a huge draw control victory from Megan Bizub. That timeout seemed to work as Roanoke did not score in the remaining time as Molly Donatelli came on midway through the fourth quarter and stopped the only shot she faced during her final five-plus minutes in goal. Alyssa Moran got the start and made four saves to register the victory.
The Diplomats held substantial advantages in shots (37-22) and draw controls (21-12), while also leading in ground balls (17-11), but 15 saves from the Maroons' Kyleigh Chickering kept her side in the game for the comeback bid during the final period. Bray led the draw control efforts with seven on the afternoon, with teammates Lane Lambeth and Bizub each collecting five more. F&M also grabbed a number of extra possessions in transition as the Diplomats held Roanoke to 13-of-20 on its clear attempts. Eight different Diplomats caused a turnover throughout Sunday's victory.
With the win, women's lacrosse will advance to the regional round where a Sweet 16 matchup against Denison awaits. Those two teams will be meeting in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history. Sites and times for the Sweet 16 round will be officially announced on NCAA.com following the completion of all action this weekend.