Diplomats Down Garnet; Advance to CC Finals

HAVERFORD, Pa. – A Connor Finn goal in the 63rd minute broke a 1-1 tie and advanced the Franklin & Marshall men's soccer team to its first Centennial Conference (CC) Championship game since 2006, with a 2-1 victory over Swarthmore on Saturday afternoon. 

The Diplomats improved to 13-3-2 on the year with their semifinal win and will face off tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. against Dickinson to determine the CC Championship. The Garnet ended their season at 9-5-4.

Sam Lane got the scoring started early for F&M when the junior midfielder sent in a rocket to the lower right corner of the net to hand the Diplomats an early 1-0 advantage just 12 minutes into the contest. 

Swarthmore followed with an onslaught of shots, which included five over a span of seven minutes, but none made their way on net to F&M goalkeeper T.J. White as the Diplomats entered the half with a one goal lead. 

In the following frame, a foul by F&M set up a penalty kick opportunity for the Garnet's Noah Sterngold in the 50th minute. Sterngold connected on the shot, tying the game at 1-1. 

The Diplomats applied pressure but were unable to break the tie until a free kick opportunity in the 63rd minute was headed by Ben Beaver over to Finn, who sent a header of his own into the top-right corner of the net for the eventual game-winner. 

Swarthmore would not go away easily, firing multiple chances at the net in the final minutes but White and the F&M defense held strong to hold on for the victory. 

White (11-3-2) picked up the win by turning back six of the seven shots that came his way. Peter Maxted (9-4-4) was handed the loss after registering one save.

The Garnet led on shots at 21-7 and held the edge on corners at 8-4. F&M will look to capture its first-ever CC Championship when the Diplomats square off against the Red Devils tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.