By Jamie Belfer || Layout Assistant
Photo courtesy of godiplomats.com.
The conference playoffs are approaching in almost two weeks and the Diplomats are continuing to play strong and play together against their toughest opponents. This past Wednesday, April 3, No. 7 F&M Diplomats faced-off against the No. 1 Gettysburg Bullets, both of whom were undefeated in conference play. After capturing a 9-6 victory, the Diplomats dealt the Bullets their first loss of the season.
The Diplomats got off to a hot start in the first half. After senior Caroline Kolva caused a Gettysburg turnover, F&M marched up the field for their first possession. Two minutes into the half sophomore Megan Jackson shot the ball past the Gettysburg goalkeeper, Bailey Pidler, to score the first goal for the Diplomats.
After a successful clear attempt by Gettysburg, Ella Orzechowski scored the first goal of the game for the Bullets with 22:08 left in the first half. Fifty-six seconds later, Maddi Seibel shot against F&M goalkeeper, Emily Kitchin, and scored for Gettysburg, putting the Bullets up 2-1. The Diplomats took advantage of their opportunity after a Gettysburg foul as junior Grace Norley scored on a free position shot at the 16:48 mark, tying the game 2-2.
Jackson scored her second goal of the game for the Diplomats at with 11:08 left in the game. The remainder of the first half was filled with a multitude of fouls, unsuccessful free position shots, and turnovers by both teams. After going up-and-down the field without a score for nine minutes, the Diplomats finally found the net as first-year Ally Marino scored, giving F&M a 4-2 lead going into the half.
Gettysburg came out aggressive in the second half. After a quick foul by the Diplomats, the Bullets scored on a free position shot with less than one minute into the half. The Bullets scored again almost thirty seconds later, tying the game up 4-4. First-year Tabatha Rodriguez stepped up for the Diplomats and scored at the 27:04 mark to put F&M up 5-4.
In the next six minutes, Gettysburg came out firing with four shots on goal. Their fifth shot, by Kerry McKeever, was able to sneak past Kitchin, tying the score up at 5 goals apiece. With less than fifteen minutes left, Rodriguez, assisted by sophomore Jane Cote, scored her second goal for the Diplomats. One minute later, McKeever scored her second goal of the game for the Bullets, tying the game up at 6-6.
For the final thirteen minutes of the game, the Diplomats’ strong defense held the Gettysburg offense scoreless. First-year Marissa McGarrey scored a free position shot with seven minutes left to give the Diplomats a 7-6 lead. Rodriguez tacked on her third goal of the game also on a free position shot. Marino sealed the deal for F&M, scoring with thirty-five seconds left in the game, helping the Diplomats secure a 9-6 victory.
The Diplomats are 3-0 in the conference, 8-3 overall. They will play the Ursinus Bears at 12:00 at home on Saturday, April 13 for another conference matchup.
First-year Jamie Belfer is a Layout Assistant. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.