Diplomats Top Bullets in 2OT for CC Title

GETTYSBURG, Pa. – Katie Groenke scored with 1:12 left in the second overtime to end the longest game in the history of the Centennial Conference Championship and give No. 10 Franklin & Marshall College a 7-6 victory over third-ranked Gettysburg College in front of an energized crowd at Clark Field.
 
Franklin & Marshall (16-4) captured its seventh Centennial title and received the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship. Gettysburg (16-3) will see where it falls in the national field during the NCAA selection show tonight at 9:30 p.m. (NCAA Championship Central).
 
Gettysburg and Franklin & Marshall traded blows throughout the game before back-to-back tallies by the Diplomats put the score at 6-4 with 12:05 to play.  
 
Senior Caroline Jaeger (Hampton, N.J./North Hunterdon) put the Bullets on her back and scored the final two goals of regulation. Following a yellow card on the Diplomats, Jaeger made the most of the player advantage by drawing a foul in the scoring area and converting the ensuing free-position shot with 6:29 to play.
 
Jaeger had another opportunity following a failed clear by Franklin & Marshall. She swooped in for a ground ball following an errant pass and went straight to goal against the defense. Goalie Danielle Harrington made the stop and the Diplomats proceeded to run off more than four minutes from the game clock.
 
Senior Macauley Mikes (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) knocked the ball loose and came up with the ground ball with 40 seconds left in the game. The Bullets raced down the field and forced a shot wide of the cage with 12 seconds remaining.
 
Gettysburg passed the ball out of the corner and Jaeger came up with it at the top of the scoring area. Racing to her right, she created just enough space to fire a shot past Harrington for the game-tying goal with just two seconds left.
 
In the first overtime period, senior Shannon Keeler (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) posted a pair of clutch saves, including a last-second attempt by Natalie Delinsky right before the end of the period.
 
The Bullets were unable to get a shot on cage in the second overtime and turned the ball over twice. A caused turnover by Sarah Bozzo set the stage for the final offensive move. Coming out of a timeout, Groenke ripped a shot darting down the right side of the scoring area for the game-winning goal.
 
A 6-2 advantage in draw controls helped Franklin & Marshall grab the upper-hand in the early stages of the game. Tied 2-2, the Diplomats received scores from Maddie Hughes and Paige Moriarty to take a 4-2 lead with 9:46 left in the first half. A tally by Jaeger at 7:11 drew Gettysburg within one heading into halftime.
 
Freshman Rebekah Riley (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air) provided instant offense after subbing into the game early in the second half with a game-tying goal at 23:04. Hughes caused a turnover on Gettysburg's next possession and was rewarded with a pass from Gabby Frank which she converted into a goal with 20 minutes left.
 
The Bullets did not allow Franklin & Marshall any looks at the cage over the next seven minutes, but Harrington posted a pair of stops to maintain the one-goal advantage. Moriarty eventually put her team ahead by two with a free-position goal.
 
Gettysburg led in shots (23-18) and ground balls (14-10), while the two teams tied with nine draw controls apiece.
 
Jaeger accounted for most of Gettysburg's offense with four goals on the day. Junior Ali Gorab (Southport, Conn./Ludlowe) posted a pair of caused turnovers and four ground balls. Keeler tallied five saves.
 
Hughes was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after posting three goals, two ground balls, two draw controls, and three caused turnovers for Franklin & Marshall. Moriarty tallied two goals and one assist, while Harrington made nine saves.