LANCASTER, Pa. – The 23rd-ranked Haverford Women's Lacrosse team (6-3, 1-1 CC) posted a furious comeback to tie No. 6 Franklin & Marshall (7-3, 2-0) with 1:46 to play in regulation, but the host Diplomats converted in the final seconds of the contest to escape with an 18-17 victory in a wild contest in Lancaster. Allie Gibbons had five goals to lead the Fords, while Hailey Morris added a career-best four tallies. Julia Manetta had five assists for Haverford while Amelia Slade made 11 saves in net.
Franklin & Marshall jetted out to an early 5-2 lead, with Caroline Kolva converting a free-position for a three-goal cushion with 20:15 to go in the first quarter. Hailey Morris tallied to cut the lead to two at 5-3, but the Diplomats rattled off a 3-0 run to restore an 8-3 lead. Manetta found the back of the net with 14:29 to go, but the Diplomats again went on a 2-0 run from that point, ultimately leading by six at 10-4 with 10:09 to play.
Olivia DiRienz and Morris both scored for the Fords in the final 10 minutes of the half, but Franklin & Marshall was in command, up 13-6 at the halftime break with designs on breezing the victory.
Coming out of the halftime gates, Haverford was determined to reverse that momentum. Gibbons and Morris both scored in the first five minutes and Manetta later found Maeve Gaffney for a score ahead of another Gibbons goal with 22:13 to play as the Fords were back within four at 15-11. Haverford went on a sustained run from that point, methodically controlling possession and playing stout defense to wrestle control of the game, shocking the hosts.
DiRienz tallied back-to-back strikes before Julia Pascarella scored to notch things at 16-16 with just over 10 minutes to play. The Fords had come all the way back to tie, unfazed by the first-half deficit.
After a yellow card was issued to Haverford, the Diplomats briefly regained the lead on a man-up goal with 9:18 to play. A series of saves from Slade and caused turnovers from the defense kept Franklin & Marshall off the board and following an F&M turnover, Morris again equalized with 1:46 to play in regulation.
After the Diplomats hit the post with a shot that came with 54 seconds to go, Isabel Canning scooped the ground ball and the Fords called for timeout. Out of the timeout, Kolva caused a key turnover and Franklin & Marshall regained possession, calling a timeout of their own to draw something up. A free-position attempt was awarded to the Diplomats with fewer than 10 seconds to go, as Maddie Hughes was able to convert to put Franklin & Marshall ahead 18-17 with six seconds to play. Erin Phillips then won the final draw control of the contest, allowing the hosts to escape with a fraught one-goal victory.
The Fords held a slight 19-18 advantage in draw controls, and scooped 17 ground balls to just 14 for the Diplomats. In addition to her five goals, Gibbons caused three turnovers and added two ground balls. DiRienz netted a hat-trick, added an assist, grabbed three ground balls, controlled two draws and caused a turnover in an all-around effort. Gaffney had six draw controls, while reigning Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week Anna Meyers collected three ground balls for the Fords.
For Franklin & Marshall, Megan Jackson did much of the heavy lifting with seven goals. Hughes added three while Jane Cote assisted on five goals. Colva tallied three assists and Anya Chopoorian helped key the defensive effort with a pair of caused turnovers. Emily Kitchin made 10 saves between the pipes for the Diplomats.
Haverford now returns to action on Wednesday evening, hosting Muhlenberg under the lights at Swan Field as Centennial Conference play continues into the final month of regular season action. Opening draw is slated for 7 p.m.