LANCASTER, Pa. - Erin Coverdale's 84th-minute score capped off No. 10 Franklin & Marshall's 2-1 2OT instant-classic victory over Muhlenberg in Saturday's Centennial Conference (CC) Semifinals.
To watch Coverdale's golden goal, click here.
The Diplomats improved to 16-2 on the year and advanced into tomorrow's Championship, while the Mules' season drew to a close at 10-8. F&M has now advanced to eight-consecutive Centennial Finals.
In search of the program's second-straight CC Championship and fourth overall, the Diplomats will battle No. 2 Johns Hopkins tomorrow at 1 p.m. in Lancaster.
With a little less than seven minutes separating both teams from the first penalty stroke decider in CC Tournament history, Coverdale took control. The dynamic forward controlled possession in the circle and shoveled a shot on cage that was initially turned back by the Mules' goalkeeper.
However, Coverdale persisted, grabbing the rebound and sliding a back-handed opportunity into the back of the cage for the game winner. The score was Coverdale's CC-leading 18th of the year.
In the opening half of regulation, a broken play in the ninth minute allowed Muhlenberg to take an early 1-0 lead. Rachel Richards collected the ball along the end line and flicked a backhand shot on net. Ilianna Santangelo attempted to kick the ball safely away but missed, as the ball trickled into the lower-right side of the cage.
Following a Diplomat timeout, the F&M attack began to hit its stride, pushing the pace and placing sustained pressure on the Muhlenberg defense. However, the Mules held tough through the remainder of the frame, limiting scoring chances and heading into the break with a 6-3 advantage in shots.
In the second half, the Diplomats notched the equalizer with a 40th-minute score. Erin Coverdale set up the play on the top-right side of the circle, firing a shot on cage that was deflected underneath by Lily Mynott for her 11th tally of the season.
F&M's defense was dominant in the second frame, holding Muhlenberg without a shot while the Diplomats' offense fired away 15 of their own. None of those chances managed to light the scoreboard as the contest proceeded into overtime.
The Diplomats followed with additional golden chances in the second overtime stanza before Coverdale notched the deciding tally.
Overall, the shot count favored F&M at 23-8, including a 20-2 margin after the opening half of play. Coverdale led the attack with nine shots, followed by Mynott with four.
Goalkeeper Ilianna Santangelo (16-2) notched one save in 83:40 minutes to secure the win, while Jordan Seagrave (10-7) suffered the hard-luck loss despite a six-save performance.
The No. 19 Ursinus College field hockey saw its journey to a 13thCentennial Conference championship end with a 1-0 loss to No. 11 Johns Hopkins in the semifinals on Saturday afternoon at Franklin & Marshall.
Third-seeded Ursinus (12-6) held onto a scoreless deadlock until Johns Hopkins took advantage of a Bear miscue in its own end with minutes remaining in regulation.
In the 68th minute, second-seeded Johns Hopkins (16-2) finally broke through an Ursinus defense that held strong, taking punch after punch. Blue Jays' leading scorer Izzy Thompson stole the ball as the Bears played it back toward the cage. Thompson pounced and poked a low shot into the cage as Ursinus senior keeper Jules Singer came out in an attempt to free the ball away.
Hopkins set up shop in the Ursinus' defensive third for a majority of the match on their way to attempting 19 shots.
Singer played a great game in goal on her way to making eight saves to wrap up an outstanding career for Bears. Early and often, Singer denied several Blue Jay scoring chances, similar to her excellent play in the 2-0 loss in the regular season match with the Blue Jays.
Today, Singer made an amazing diving save in the 7th minute on Seema Sajjan's shot with the cage partially empty. The senior keeper made another sprawling save from a shot on the doorstep in the first half. In a wild sequence after a penalty corner in the second half, Singer stood on her head with pad save and a high stick stop.
The Bears who made the CC playoffs for the 16th straight season were held to just four shots with two of them on goal. Ursinus' best opportunity to score was in the 61st minute when junior Erin Saybolt passed to sophomore Devon Carroll but was denied by the pads of Blue Jay goalie Jodie Baris.
Baris had a quiet day in goal as she posted a shutout with two saves.
The first half went scoreless but Hopkins held the advantages in shots (8-2) and penalty corners (3-2). Ursinus were held without an official shot on goal. Johns Hopkins recorded four shots on goal.
In the match, Hopkins also held the penalty corners edge (8-6).
Johns Hopkins will take on Centennial Conference regular season champion No. 10 Franklin & Marshall on Sunday at 1 p.m. for the CC championship. The Diplomats took down Muhlenberg 2-1 in double overtime in their semifinal matchup.
In back-to-back seasons, the Ursinus College field hockey team's saw its quests for CC titles thwarted in the semifinals.
- Franklin & Marshall is 2-6 in Centennial finals, while Johns Hopkins is 2-7.
- The Diplomats look to repeat as champions, while the Blue Jays look for their first title since 2003.
- Hop is 23-15-1 all-time against F&M, but is only 8-10-1 in Lancaster. The Diplomats have won four straight against the Jays at home since a 2009 loss.
- Since 2005, teams scoring the game's first goal are 42-12, while teams leading at halftime at 32-8.
- There have been 25 shutouts in the 65-game history of the Conference tournament and thirteen 1-0 results.
- Dickinson (2016 first round) became the first team to come back from a three-goal deficit and win a tournament contest. The Red Devils trailed Haverford, 3-0, at the 32:46 mark of the first half.
- Haverford (2011 first round) and Johns Hopkins (2014 first round) are the only other teams to come back from a two-goal deficit and win a tournament contest. The Fords trailed 2-0 with 23:17 left in the 1st half vs. Washington College. The Blue Jays trailed 2-0 with 17:18 left in 2nd half also against the Shorewomen.
- 2016 was the first year that two tournament games went to overtime.