MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – A pair of goals from Ben Beaver and a goal and assist from Ryan O'Connell paced the Franklin & Marshall men's soccer team in a 3-0 win over Rose-Hulman on Saturday evening in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
With the win, the Diplomats moved to 17-3-2 on the year and advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, while the Fightin' Engineers' season ended at 12-6-5.
Tomorrow, F&M will take on the host Messiah in the round of eight, who advanced with a 2-1 win over Kenyon on Saturday evening. The contest is set for a 5:00 p.m. start.
Beaver got the action started in the 16th minute when O'Connell found the senior forward open on the right side of the box. Beaver snuck past the defense and fired a shot off the hands of the Rose-Hulman keeper and into the back of the net for an early 1-0 lead.
The Diplomats' defense limited the Fightin' Engineers scoring chances through the remainder of the first half, as F&M entered intermission with the one-goal advantage.
Beaver tacked one on just nine minutes into the second when he netted his 15th of the season. Sam Lane found Beaver deep in Rose-Hulman territory who cut to the net and sent a rocket past the keeper.
Chris Scott lined up for a free kick in the 82nd minute with the hopes of putting the game out of reach. The junior back sent an opportunity on net that smacked off the left post and deflected back into play where O'Connell was there to put back the rebound to the top-right corner for the 3-0 advantage.
T. J. White (15-3) turned back the pair of shots that he faced on the day, both of which occurred in the opening half. F&M dominated in shots at 12-5, including an 8-1 edge in the second. The Diplomats also held the advantage on corners at 4-0.
Drew Miller (12-6) was handed the loss after allowing three goals and stopping one opportunity.
F&M has now won eight-straight contests, including three in the NCAA Tournament. The Diplomats advanced to the final eight win a 1-0 win over Catholic in the opening round, followed by a 3-0 bashing of Dickinson in the second before earning their third-straight shutout with Saturday's win over Rose Hulman.