Fords Hold Off Diplomats in CC Championship

Fords Hold Off Diplomats in CC Championship

HAVERFORD, Pa. – A two-goal deficit proved too difficult for the No. 8 Franklin & Marshall men's soccer team to overcome as the Diplomats fell to No. 17 Haverford by a 2-1 score in the Centennial Conference (CC) Championship game. 

The Diplomats fell to 12-3-4 overall while the Fords the improved to 13-3-3 after securing their second consecutive Conference Title.

In the 28th minute of the opening half, Haverford's Ben Field gathered the ball right on its endline and threaded a low cross to the middle of the box where a waiting Nick Jannelli landed the shot on the right-hand side of the goal for the 1-0 lead. 

Five minutes later, the Fords' Will Corkery lined up for a freekick and sent an opportunity into the box that eventually found the foot of Max Krieg, who finished in the top-right of the net to put Haverford ahead by two. 

The Diplomats refused to back down and started out the first half with momentum on their side.  Just two minutes into the stanza, Alex Bilodeau collected the ball after a corner into the box and tried a quick shot on net that the Fords' goalkeeper turned back with an incredible diving stop to his right.

In the 66th minute, Ugo Okolie settled the ball just outside the box, turned around from 18 yards out and fired a shot into the top-right of the net to cut the deficit to one. 

Haverford controlled possession from there, but Stephen Sherbahn nearly knotted the game in the closing seconds, sending in an attempt on the right side of the box that was deflected just high. 

Shots favored the Fords by a 20-11 margin in the contest, as well as corners at 6-1. Jason Tonelli, Ben Draheim, Robert Maze and Okolie each tallied two shots. 

F&M goalkeeper Dave Reingold (12-3-4) was charged with the loss after allowing both goals and registering four saves. Jeremy Astesano (6-0-2) earned the win after picking up two saves through 90 minutes. 

The Diplomats will now hope to acquire an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, which begins next weekend. The NCAA selection show will take place on Monday, Nov. 7 at 1:00 p.m. and can be viewed here