No. 7 Bullets Knock off No. 6 Diplomats

GETTYSBURG, Pa. Franklin & Marshall ran into a wall in front of the Gettysburg goal, as freshman Shannon Keeler (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) put up 15 saves to lift the seventh-ranked Bullets past the sixth-ranked Diplomats 8-6 in Centennial lacrosse action Wednesday night at Clark Field.

With the win, Gettysburg (13-2, 7-1 CC) moves into a tie for first place with Franklin & Marshall (13-4, 7-1 CC) for the top spot in the conference standings. A victory over Bryn Mawr College (5-10, 0-8 CC) on Saturday would make the Bullets the top seed and host for the Centennial Conference Championship on May 3-4.

Keeler posted her best performance in the biggest game of the season so far and kept the Diplomats off the board for nearly 10 minutes to start the contest. She tallied three of her eight first-half saves during a 55-second span early in the stanza.

Franklin & Marshall finally found a way around the freshman keeper as Emily Everdell turned in the first goal at 20:47. The Bullets came right back with a free-position shot by sophomore Emily Tropsa (Darien, Conn./Darien) less than a minute later to tie the game.

The teams exchanged goals before a 10-minute scoring drought as the goalies grabbed the spotlight. Kelsey Hoffman recorded a pair of saves, while Keeler added five more in the final 11:56 of the period.

A failed clear by Gettysburg led to the next goal as Mary Mitchell gave the visitors a 3-2 advantage at 3:32. The Bullets maintained control of the ball after winning the ensuing draw control and ran the clock down the final seconds. Junior Mandy Buell (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) provided the equalizer with only four seconds remaining in the period.

Keeler set the tone with a pair of stops to start the final stanza. After exchanging a pair of goals, Gettysburg grabbed its first lead of the game on Tropsa's second free-position score, making it 6-5 with just over 20 minutes left in the contest.

Senior Katie Blumenthal (Malvern, Pa./Academy of Notre Dame) padded the advantage by emerging from behind the cage and shooting the ball past Hoffman at 16:06. Just 16 seconds later, senior Kelsey Markiewicz (Taconic, Conn./Berkshire School (Mass.)) found sophomore Amanda Borucki (Westminster, Md./North Carroll) for the quick score to make it 8-5.

Franklin & Marshall struggled to find the cage, missing on each of its next nine shot attempts with Keeler racking up three saves. The Diplomats finally found the back of the net on a score by Caroline Krohn with 1:04 to play.

Franklin & Marshall won the final draw control of the game, but turned the ball over just seconds later. Gettysburg whittled nearly 30 seconds off the clock before handing possession back over with under 20 seconds remaining. The Diplomats were unable to get a clean look at the goal in the remaining time.

Franklin & Marshall held the advantage in shots (35-19) and ground balls (17-12), while the teams split the 16 draw controls.

Keeler's save total was the best by a Bullet since Kristen Krammer '10 logged 15 stops against the Diplomats on April 29, 2007. Senior Kelly Spieker (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) posted three ground balls and two caused turnovers and helped hold Krohn to just three goals on 13 shots.

Tropsa and Buell led the Bullets with two goals. Sophomore Maggie Connolly (Winchester, Mass./Winchester) added a goal and an assist, while junior Bridget Kenny (Gladstone, N.J./Bernards) picked up three draw controls and two ground balls.

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