COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Despite a strong performance from Franny Liberatoscioli on Senior Day, the Ursinus College women's lacrosse team was unable to keep up with high-powered Franklin & Marshall in a 20-6 Centennial Conference defeat on Patterson Field.
Liberatoscioli scored four goals and handed out an assist, accounting for all but one of the Bears' points on the day. She was honored alongside classmates Alycia Hildebrand, Taylor DeBernardi, Amy Lee, and Jules Krasutsky prior to the game.
Grace Norley led three players with hat tricks for the 5th-ranked Diplomats (11-3, 5-0), who had won at top-ranked and defending national champion Gettysburg two weeks earlier. Paige Moriarty handed out six of her seven assists in the first half and Hannah Sterling posted four goals and one helper.
Liberatoscioli was the offense for the Bears (2-9, 0-5) in the first half, contributing to all five goals with a sensational individual effort that included four of her own markers and an assist on the first collegiate goal by freshman Katherine Eckhoff.
Although the Bears held a 17-10 advantage in draw controls, with junior Kaci McNeave (seven) and Liberatoscioli (six) combining for 13 of them and earned nine free-position attempts, their defense had trouble matching up with a dynamic F&M offense that was firing on all cylinders from the opening whistle.
The Diplomats were surgical in attack in the first period. Nineteen of their 20 shots were on frame – in addition to the 15 that found the back of the net, two more hit the post and two others were saved by Ursinus goalie Kaitlyn France. Three F&M players had hat tricks in the first half, Norley leading the way with four goals and an assist, while Moriarty was the conductor with six helpers and a goal of her own.
Norley scored the game's first two goals before Liberatoscioli got on the board with a free-position shot at the 24:14 mark of the opening half. The Diplomats then ran off six in a row before Liberatoscioli brought Ursinus back, scoring on a slashing move before feeding Eckhoff for a marker that made it 8-3 with 13:11 left in the period.
F&M continued to expand its lead, however, and went up by double digits on Megan Jackson's goal with 0.1 seconds to go that made it 15-5. The running clock remained intact through the second half, with sophomore Haley O'Malley netting an eight-meter conversion for the Bears' lone goal.
Danielle Harrington made eight saves for F&M, which held a 31-19 edge in shots and turned it over only eight times.
Lee finished with two caused turnovers for Ursinus, while Hildebrand had a draw control and Krasutsky scopped up a ground ball. France made two saves before being replaced by freshman Maddie Vaughn, who stopped three shots in the second half.
The Bears host Bryn Mawr on Wednesday, April 18.