LANCASTER, Pa. - Franklin & Marshall locked up a spot in the Centennial Conference (CC) playoffs for the fourth straight season with a thrilling 3-1 triumph over visiting Gettysburg on Wednesday night at Tylus Field. The Diplomats (12-4, 5-3 CC) have now tied the third-most single-season wins in program history with the victory, while the Bullets drop to 6-9-1, 1-6-1 CC with the defeat.
F&M will be either the fourth or fifth seed in next week's CC tournament, depending on the outcome of Saturday's slate of regular season finales.
The Diplomats jumped on top early on as Chase TenBrook found the back of the net in just the third minute of play. After a Gettysburg foul near midfield, Ryan O'Connell lofted the free kick into the 18-yard box that found the head of Chris Scott, who re-directed it to TenBrook. The freshman forward then headed Scott's feed home for a 1-0 F&M advantage.
Gettysburg came out firing in the early stages of the second half, putting pressure on the F&M defense. That pressure paid off for the Bullets as they struck paydirt in the 54th minute to even things at 1-1. Tyler Shaffer played a through ball to Noah Sheetz-Ziegel, who slid a shot past F&M goalkeeper T.J. White.
With time winding down in the second half the two sides seemed destined for overtime, but the Diplomats had other plans as they registered a pair of tallies in the final four minutes to secure the 3-1 margin of victory.
In the 87th minute, Sam Lane sent a low lining corner kick towards the far post, and Mike Irving slid forward and poked the ball into the far post netting to give the Diplomats back the lead, 2-1. With just 12 seconds remaining Jared Bomba finished a strike from the right side, also assisted by Lane, to give F&M the 3-1 win.
White tallied two saves in net to earn the win, while the Bullets' Connor Darrell notched five stops in the loss.
The Diplomats wrap up their regular season on Saturday at Dickinson at 2:30 p.m.
Gettysburg (6-9-1, 1-6-1 CC) vs. F&M (12-4, 5-3 CC)
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Gettysburg.......... 0 1 - 1
F&M................. 1 2 - 3
1. 2:15 F&M Chase TenBrook (1) (Chris Scott) - free kick near midfield - headed twice and in
2. 53:37 GC Noah Sheetz-Ziegel (3) (Tyler Shaffer) - through ball on right side, slid past gk
3. 86:06 F&M Mike Irving (3) (Sam Lane) - sliding score off corner kick at far post
4. 89:48 F&M Jared Bomba (5) (Sam Lane) - shot from right to far post
Shots: Gettysburg 8, F&M 16
Saves: Gettysburg 5 (Connor Darrell 5), F&M 2 (TJ White 2)