LANCASTER, PA -- Franklin & Marshall College will celebrate 75 seasons of men's soccer and 25 seasons of women's soccer at the College on September 4 at the Fields at Baker Campus and Elizabethtown College.
At noon, Franklin & Marshall will host a reception at Baker Campus to honor the College's Academic All-America and All-America selections, conference and national championship soccer teams and record holders prior to the 2:00 p.m. kickoff of the women's soccer team's game versus Goucher College.
Following the women's soccer game, Franklin & Marshall will host a hospitality tent at Elizabethtown College's Ira Herr Field beginning at 6:15 p.m. as the Blue Jays will host the Diplomats in men's soccer for the "Smith-Herr Boot" trophy.
Established in 1978, the trophy is to memorialize the memories of former F&M coach Robert Smith and longtime Elizabethtown Athletic Director Ira Herr. The Bronze Boot is a bronzed soccer shoe originally worn by Al Hershey, who played for the Jays and later coached at Franklin & Marshall.
The Blue Jays retained possession of the trophy last year courtesy 1-0 victory in overtime as Elizabethtown regained the "Boot" in 2002 with a 3-1 victory. In 2001, Franklin & Marshall knocked off the Blue Jays 2-1 in Lancaster for the first win over the 'Jays in men's soccer since 1986.
The men's soccer team's at Franklin & Marshall can be traced back to 1911 as club soccer was introduced at the College, with the first intercollegiate game played against Penn State in 1912. A full varsity schedule was established in 1926. Through those fledgling years grew the foundation for an outstanding tradition of quality soccer at F&M.
During the past 74 years, Diplomat soccer squads have won the all-college national championship (1952) and nine conference divisional or sectional titles. Squads have frequently been invited to either NCAA or ECAC post-season competitions while compiling an overall record of 428-428-73.
The present schedule has F&M competing against several university teams as well as traditional rivals among established NCAA Division III playoff-caliber programs including past national champions Elizabethtown, Messiah and Richard Stockton.
Among the elite programs in Division III, during the 24-year history of women's soccer at Franklin & Marshall the Diplomats have won conference championships, an ECAC Division III Championship title, earned several CoSIDA Academic All-America honors and compiled an overall team record of 215-163-21 (.565 winning percentage). Their record over the past seven years has been an impressive 80-42-7 (.647 percentage).
With a winning tradition firmly established, F&M soccer enjoys being recognized as one of the strongest teams in the Mid-Atlantic Region. On the national scene, the Diplomats were honored for the fifth consecutive year with the prestigious National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) College Team Academic Award last year.
Founded in 1787, Franklin & Marshall College is a coeducational, liberal arts institution. More information may be obtained by contacting either Edward Haas, Assistant Director of Athletics for External Affairs & Communications, at 717-291-3838.