No. 5 Gettysburg Tops No. 6 Franklin & Marshall in CC Final

GETTYSBURG, Pa. – In a match-up of two of best s in NCAA Division III, it was the Gettysburg freshmen that stole the show in leading the fifth-ranked Bullets past sixth-ranked Franklin & Marshall 14-11 to claim the Centennial Conference title Sunday afternoon at Clark Field.

Gettysburg (18-1) claimed its league-record eighth title and heads to the national playoffs for the 12th consecutive season. The Bullets also won the conference title for the second consecutive season.

“It's such a great feeling,” said Head Coach Carol Cantele '83. “It's so great to see the joy and excitement after a hard-fought victory. I thought the team played well and together and also executed in critical moments. It feels awesome.”

Gettysburg, which had lost its last five meetings with Franklin & Marshall (14-4) in the conference championship game, received a tremendous boost from its freshmen class. Amanda Borucki (Westminster, Md./North Carroll) and Maggie Connolly (Winchester, Mass./Winchester) each tallied three goals and one assist with the latter adding a career-high eight draw controls. Freshman goalie Lindsay Clinton (Barto, Pa./Boyertown) also turned in a strong day in cage with nine saves.

“When you play as often as we do and you get into the championships,” said Cantele, “you know teams are going to put their best defenders on your veteran players. That's when you hope the underclassmen show up and they showed up big today.”

The hosts never trailed in the game as Borucki scored the opening goal at 28:16. After the Diplomats tied the game, the Bullets ran off the next three scores with back-to-back goals by Connolly just 47 seconds apart setting the score at 4-1 with 18:09 left in the first half.

Franklin & Marshall established a presence inside the draw circle, winning each of the next four draws and turning three of those possessions into scores. The visitors would tie the game 5-5 on a goal by Lauren Selawski at 10:29.

After falling behind 6-3 on draw controls, Cantele tossed Connolly inside the circle to help off-set Franklin & Marshall's Caroline Krohn. The freshman came through for the Bullets, helping her team win the final six draws of the period. Gettysburg scored three of the final four goals of the half to take an 8-6 lead into the break.

“I think one of the biggest difference makers was going to be who capitalized on the draws because both teams are capable of having long possessions on the offensive sets and are able to finish on those offensive sets,” Cantele noted. “We took a lot of time off the clock and made those moments very meaningful for us. That was a big difference for us, getting those draws.”

Gettysburg's momentum carried into the final period as junior Kelsey Markiewicz (Taconic, Conn./Berkshire School (Mass.)) and senior Lindsey Robinson (Potomac, Md./Holton-Arms) scored back-to-back goals to push the lead to 10-6 with 22 minutes remaining.

The Diplomats continued to press the action and scored a pair of goals despite being man-down as the result of a yellow card. Krohn connected on a free-position shot to pull her team to 10-8 with 20 minutes on the board.

Krohn aimed to slice the deficit in half with another shot just a minute later, but Clinton thwarted the attempt and Gettysburg raced the other way with Robinson finding junior Loren Pruitt (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) in front of the goal to make it 11-8 at 18:16.

The Diplomats cut the lead to two twice over the final 16 minutes of play, but each time the Bullets answered. Borucki scored on a free-position at 11:40 to make it 12-9 and Connolly took it to the cage herself to make it 13-10 at 5:41. Pruitt made it a four-goal lead (14-10) following a pass from Broucki at 2:13.

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