By Gabby Goodwin || Sports Editor
This past Saturday, No. 10 F&M Field Hockey faced off against the Muhlenberg Mules in the first round of CC playoff tournament on Tylus Field. With a key 2-0 victory last Saturday against Johns Hopkins in regular-season conference play, F&M had the honors of hosting the playoff tournament this weekend.
In the opening minutes of the game, a play on a corner allowed the Mules to take an early 1-0 lead against the Dips. While F&M’s Illiana Santangelo attempted to kick the ball away, there was no stopping the shot from Muhlenberg’s Rachel Richards, who collected the ball along the end line, and flicked a backhand shot into the lower-right side of the cage.
Following a Diplomat timeout, the Diplomat offense came out strong. However, the Mules pushed back through the remainder of the half, going into the break with a 6-3 advantage in shots.
About 40 minutes into the second half, F&M’s Erin Coverdale set up a play on the top-right side of the circle, where she hit a shot that was deflected, and then finished by F&M’s Lily Mynott for her 11th goal of the season. F&M’s defense persisted and finished the second half without giving up a shot, while a Diplomat offense remained ruthless and fired away 15 of their own. Despite this, however, none of those chances managed to go in, and the game proceeded into overtime.
With just under 7 minutes separating the Dips and the Mules from the first penalty shootout in CC tournament history, F&M’s Erin Coverdale clenched a key goal at minute number 84 to cap off a 2-1 2OT victory in the Conference Semifinals. The forward controlled possession in the circle and hit a shot on cage, which was deflected. However, Coverdale, grabbing the rebound, slid a back-handed shot into the cage for the game winner. The goal was CC-leading Coverdale’s 18th of the year.
The shot count favored F&M, 23-8, with Coverdale leading the attack with 9 shots, and Mynott with 4. Santangelo (16-2) notched one save in the 83rd minute, to secure the win, while Muhlenberg’s Jordan Seagrace (10-7) notched six saves.
The Diplomats improved to 16-2 to advance on to Sunday’s championship, while the Mules finished their season 10-8. F&M Field Hockey has now advanced to 8 consecutive Centennial Finals.
In search of the program’s second straight CC Championship, and fourth overall, the Diplomats face off against Johns Hopkins, once again, in the CC Championship this Sunday at 1:00 PM.
Junior Gabby Goodwin is the Sports Editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.