BRYN MAWR, Pa. - It was another game, another top-five opponent earlier today on Applebee Field for the Bryn Mawr field hockey team. For the second time in the past three home games, the Owls hosted a team ranked in the top-five of the NFHCA Coaches Poll as they welcomed #5 Franklin & Marshall to town earlier Saturday afternoon. Despite the ranking and national accolades surrounding the Diplomats, it was the Bryn Mawr defensive and midfield effort that deserved the most praise on the day, as the Owls held the visitors' potent offense to just four goals on the day. Franklin and Marshall was able to take home a 4-0 win when all was said and done, but the Owls certainly made them earn it. Only one player was able to find the net for the visitors, as Melanie Consiglio scored all four goals for the Diplomats.
It seemed like the Diplomats (6-2, 3-0 CC) were bound to win big in the contest when they jumped out to a lead just six minutes in and then doubled that advantage with just under 20 minutes left to play in the first half. However, the Bryn Mawr defense came ready to play a full 70 minutes, and it showed for the rest of the half. The Owls (0-9, 0-4 CC) did a great job maintaining their shape and staying connected with one another, forcing the Diplomats into numerous bad passes and turnovers. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Angela Meng did a great job as well, making eight saves in the half to limit the Diplomats to just those early two goals. Meng would go on to make a total of 17 saves in the game, a season-high for the sophomore netminder.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first, with Franklin & Marshall once again scoring two goals at almost the exact same two points in the half as the first two. However, yet again the Bryn Mawr team banded together and pitched a shutout the rest of the way. Even despite playing with ten and at times just nine players at times due to injuries, the Owls kept their cool, covered well defensively, and stayed out of trouble. In fact, late in the half Bryn Mawr had their own great opportunities to get on the board themselves. With about 12 minutes to play, Bryn Mawr earned their first penalty corner of the game. Despite not getting a shot off on that attempt, they were able to get another chance, and then another. It was on that third penalty corner that Bryn Mawr got one of their best looks at goal all season. Inserting from the left side of the cage, the Owls were able to work the ball around until a player fired the ball into the center from the left side. In the mass of humanity inside the circle, freshman Mary Cugini was able to latch onto the ball and send a shot headed towards the right side of the cage. Her effort was well-placed, as it snuck past goalkeeper Ilianna Santangelo and appeared to be destined for the back of the net. However, F&M's Sarah Schannauer was perfectly positioned herself, and she got her stick flat on the ground and kept the ball just off the line and was able to clear away. That ended up being Bryn Mawr's final good look of the game, and they were able to weather one last flurry of corners from the Diplomats to limit their opponents to just the slim 4-0 win.
Bryn Mawr will look to take this highly effective defense right into their next match, as they kick off a tough three-game road trip starting on Wednesday. The Owls will travel to Centennial Conference opponents Muhlenberg and Dickinson over the next week before taking on Ramapo on Thursday, October 13th in a non-conference tilt.