BALTIMORE, Md. -- Top-seeded Johns Hopkins and second-seeded Franklin & Marshall each secured semifinal victories on Friday night at Homewood Field, setting up a championship showdown between the perennial powers for the third-straight season.
JHU (16-2) held off a furious fourth-quarter Gettysburg (11-9) rally to down the fifth-seeded Bullets, 5-4, in Friday's first semifinal. Hopkins held a commanding 4-0 lead at halftime and led 5-0 entering the fourth quarter, but the Bullets rallied to score four times in an 11-minute span in the fourth quarter before running out of time to complete the full comeback.
Abby Birk led the Blue Jays with four assists, tying the program record for assists in a game. Katie McErlean and Christina Glaser eached scored twice in the win for JHU, while Tessa Erickson notched what proved to be the game-winner. Gettysburg's received two goals apiece from Lauren Beccaria and Emma Bertrando in the defeat.
In Friday's second semifinal, F&M blanked third-seeded Ursinus 2-0 to move on to the championship game for the ninth straight season. The Diplomats improved to 16-2 on the season while the Bears fell to an overall record of 11-7.
Ursinus fought off five early F&M shot attempts before committing a foul that allowed Kat Horsley to take a penalty stroke in the 10th minute of play. Horsley converted on the Bears' fatal folly to tally her second goal of the season and open up the scoring, 1-0.
After over 30 minutes of scoreless action, F&M added an insurance goal in the 41st minute. Lily Mynott's unassisted shot found the back of the cage to expand the lead to 2-0 ahead of the final quarter of play. The Diplomats held Ursinus without a shot attempt in the fourth quarter to preserve the two-score advantage.
F&M and Johns Hopkins will face off for the title on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Homewood Field.