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May 26, 2016 — Inside the Division III Final Four: Trinity vs. Franklin & Marshall

TRINITY
Record: 18-3
Against the Final Four (1-1): Beat Middlebury 13-9, lost to Middlebury 10-7.
Key players: Martha Griffin (sr., A), Clare Lyne (jr., A), Ashley Stewart (sr., D), Zoe Ferguson (so., G), Emily Mooney (sr., G)
Intangibles: Trinity’s schedule is such that they met a national Top 20 team in seven out of its last nine matches. The Bantams are undefeated under the new sudden-death overtime rules. Trinity uses a platoon system for goalies; Ferguson in the first half, Mooney in the second.
The skinny: This is the second year in a row that Trinity has met Franklin & Marshall in the national semifinals, with the Bantams winning 11-6 a year ago. But they also have likely looked at F&M’s box score from the quarterfinal round and will likely wonder if they’re in for a defensive struggle on Saturday.

FRANKLIN & MARSHALL
Record: 21-2
Against the Final Four (0-0): Did not play.
Key players: Paige Moriarty (so., A), Grace Saliba (sr., A), Anastatia Mergner (sr., M), Samantha Blicht (sr., D), Vanessa Budd (jr., D)
Intangibles: Head coach Mike Faith has a second bite of the apple after the Diplomats made a return to the national semifinals after the hazing scandal that cost the team its 2012 season. Only team in the Final Four to shut out an opponent this season.
The skinny: F&M’s defense has held 15 of its opponents to six goals or fewer. The Diplomats locked down Salisbury in winning their quarterfinal matchup 6-5, and this is the team that could alter the pace and rhythm of a potential final with Cortland. But Franklin & Marshall cannot look past Trinity.

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