Franklin & Marshall's Gabby Frank scored 45 seconds into overtime, lifting the third-ranked Diplomats (7-1) past fifth-ranked Middlebury 9-8 on Wednesday in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Panthers (6-2) face their fourth-straight ranked opponent on Saturday when they return to NESCAC action, hosting #19 Amherst at 2:00 p.m.
Franklin & Marshall opened the scoring 3:07 into the contest on a goal by Grace Norley, while Gabby Frank and Hannah Sterling followed with free-position tallies. After a score by Paige Moriarty put the hosts in front 4-0, the Panthers quickly answered. Georgia Carroll took advantage of a free-position attempt with 6:28 left in the half to put the visitors on the board, while Hollis Perticone made it 4-2 just 26 seconds later after Sara DiCenso won the draw control. The hosts gained some momentum back in the final minute of the frame when Norley netted her second goal of the game with 15 seconds on the clock, giving F&M a 5-2 lead at the break.
Middlebury had a strong start to the second stanza, scoring three-straight goals to tie the game at 5-5. Emma McDonagh buried a free-position attempt with 2:56 expired, while Perticone made it a one-goal contest 19 seconds later with an unassisted tally. The Panthers tied the score with 23:12 on the clock when Mary O'Connell tallied on a free-position shot.
The Diplomats responded with goals from Norley and Natalie Delinsky to go back in front 7-5 midway through the half. Henley Hall got Middlebury to within 7-6, converting on free-position attempt with 8:02 remaining. After F&M regained its two-goal lead, Perticone won the ensuing draw control and used her speed to create a breakaway, scoring on a high shot for her third tally of the game. O'Connell tied the game at 8-8 with 5:10 left in regulation with her team-leading 20th of the season.
The Diplomats had the only possession of the extra period, with Frank netting the game winner from in front of the Panther net on a feed from Maddie Hughes.
Perticone led Middlebury with three goals, while O'Connell netted a pair. On the defensive side of the field, Evie Keating finished with two caused turnovers and Kate Zecca had a pair of draw controls. Goalie Kate Furber finished with four saves and had a game-high five ground balls.
Norley posted a four-point game (3g, 1a) for the Diplomats and Frank added two goals and an assist. Danielle Harrington earned the win in goal, finishing with five stops.
F&M held a slim 21-19 edge in shots and 10-9 in draw controls, while the Panthers had a 10-9 advantage in ground balls.