#4 Diplomats Outlast Fords; Hargest Resets Record

HAVERFORD, Pa. No. 4 Franklin & Marshall built a 9-4 lead in the first half and hung on for a 10-8 win at Haverford on Saturday afternoon. Blake Hargest and Lauren Erhardt each tallied first half hat tricks for the Diplomats, who limp into next weekend's Centennial Conference (CC) Championships at the end of a tough three-game road stretch.

Erhardt scored first and third in a busy stretch of the first half. She got the Diplomats (12-3, 8-1 CC) out in front at 25:34, but Kenny Likes knotted it at 1-all 28 seconds later. Erhardt reclaimed her team's lead 1:13 later finishing a Meredith Lussier feed. Lussier netted her first of two 3:51 later.

After a Katie Delaney goal gave F&M a 4-1 lead, Blake Hargest made history with an unassisted effort at 13:15. Her goal marked the 321st point of her career, making her the most prolific point producer in the College's history. She struck twice more in the first half, including a goal set up by Sarah Veneski with 86 ticks showing. That goal stood up as the game-winner. Hargest enters next weekend's CC tournament one point short of the conference mark for career points. Veneski finished the day with three assists.

After Hargest's first, Erhardt netted her final marker of the afternoon to make it 6-1. That was when Haverford (12-4, 5-4 CC) finally began to decipher the Diplomats' defense. Perrin Downing scored the first of her pair to start a trade of goals down to the half.

Haverford dumped in the first pair of the second half, with Alexa Pesce feeding Jen Schmidt before scoring on her own on a free position shot to make it 9-6. The Diplomats fell stunningly silent in the second half, lobbing only four shots at the Fords' cage. Lussier's second of the day answered the Pesce powered pair, and was the only F&M goal in the second half.

The Fords trailed four goals late in the game. With 8:24 left, Josie Ferri dumped in a goal to get her team within three. Less than two minutes later, she set up downing's second to make it 10-8, F&M. Ferri nearly got her team within a goal with 1:18 remaining, but caught iron. The Diplomats recovered the carom and ran out the clock on the Fords.

The Diplomats return to action next Saturday against Ursinus in the Centennial semifinals at Gettysburg. The Buillets will face the winner of Wednesday's game between Haverford and Dickinson. Haverford is the four seed and will host the first round game.

2010-04-24



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