BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Owls soccer team got their contest against Franklin & Marshall off to a tremendous start earlier Saturday afternoon, thanks to a brilliant goal from Emily Elmore. However, the Owls were unable to make that lead hang on in the end, as four straight goals from the Diplomats gave the visitors a 4-1 win. Senior goalkeeper Leah Baer made nine saves for the Owls in a strong performance in her final game on Applebee Field. Nicolette Runko had a big day for Franklin & Marshall, including scoring the game winner in the second half.
Franklin & Marshall got the contest off to a good start with a couple of solid chances early, but Baer made a strong save on one of those and the Owls defense stepped up big with a block on the other. Bryn Mawr answered back a few minutes later with their first chances, starting with a great shot by Kass Wojcik. The Diplomat goalkeeper made a great save of her own on that attempt, but that gave the Owls a corner kick. On the ensuing play, Emily Elmore ripped a shot of her own, but it went just wide. The junior midfielder got another chance just ten minutes later, and this time she would make it count. Elmore took the ball down the right side of the field and sprinted free of her defender. She made a great run into the right side of the box, and then picked out a perfect opening between goalkeeper Tara Hessenthaler and her near post. Elmore drove a hard shot in that gap and found the back of the netting, giving Bryn Mawr a 1-0 lead 25 minutes into the game.
Unfortunately, the Owls were not able to make that advantage stand up over the rest of the half. Franklin & Marshall immediately responded by getting back on the front foot, and they tallied several shots over the next ten minutes. The Diplomats finally broke through in the 37th minute, as a free kick from the midfield ended up in the box, where it was headed from the left side of the goal deep into the right side of the net by Anna Goorevich. The visitors continued to press for a go-ahead goal before the half ended, but Baer and the Owls defense stepped up big to shut down the remaining chances and send the teams into halftime tied at 1-1.
That break only seemed to give the Diplomats for fuel for their fire, as the visitors dominated the second half. Franklin & Marshall earned three corners and ten shots in the first 20 minutes of the half while keeping Bryn Mawr from registering a single chance in that same stretch. That pressure finally broke through the Owls' defenses, as the Diplomats scored the go-ahead goal in the 71st minute. Runko tallied that goal with a great run down the right side and shot into the left side of the net. She then followed up with a second goal just 12 minutes later to give the visitors a 3-1 lead. Franklin & Marshall would get one more insurance goal with less than five minutes to go in the game, and that ultimately proved to be the final scoreline, with the visitors claiming the 4-1 victory.
Today was the final home contest for the Owls soccer team in 2018, but they'll be right back in action next week to close out the season. Their final week starts with a contest against Bi-Co rivals Haverford on Wednesday afternoon. Game time against the Fords is slated for 4:00 PM in Haverford on Wednesday the 24th.