May 22, 2010

By Jeff Seidel
Special to

GETTYSBURG, Pa. - Anne Graveley had two goals and two assists to lead a balanced attack as Hamilton rolled to a 12-7 victory over Franklin & Marshall in the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championships on Saturday at Gettysburg College.

Hamilton (21-0) advances to Sunday's national title game at noon against the winner of the Salisbury-Gettysburg semifinal. The Continentals are trying for their second national title in three years. They won the championship in 2008.

Franklin & Marshall (16-4) was trying to repeat as national champion.

The Diplomats beat Hamilton in a national semifinal last year.

Nine Hamilton players scored goals. In addition to Graveley, Rachel Friedman and Audrey Nebergall each got two goals, while Sarah Bray added a goal and two assists.

Hamilton quickly took charge by scoring five consecutive first-half goals over 9 minutes 48 seconds to take a 6-1 lead.

Franklin & Marshall tried to rally in the second half, scoring four of five goals in a four-minute span to cut the lead to 11-7 with 14:27 left.

But the Diplomats hurt themselves by getting called for three three-minute non-releasable penalties in the final 14 minutes. That let Hamilton keep possession for long stretches and stop any Franklin & Marshall rally.

Blake Hargest led the Diplomats with three goals. Meredith Lussier came off the bench to score two goals.

Hamilton controlled several areas of the game throughout. The Continentals won 13 of 21 draws, repeatedly broke up Franklin & Marshall's clears and kept possession for long stretches.