LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's offense hit its stride on Saturday evening, dominating Babson by a 5-1 score in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament in Lancaster. The win marked the third straight season the Diplomats (16-3) have picked up an NCAA Tournament victory, while the Beavers season comes to an end at 12-7-2.
The winner of Saturday's second contest between Carnegie Mellon and Gordon will serve as F&M's second round opponent, which is set for a 5:00 p.m. start Sunday at Tylus Field.
Scoring came early and often for the Diplomats. Chase TenBrook chipped a short pass to Jason Tonelli, who blew past his defender and fired a shot past the goalkeeper for a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute.
Just four minutes passed until F&M once again lit the scoreboard when Ugo Okolie sent a short cross from the right side of the box over to Ryan Fincher, who tallied his first career goal with a well-placed header.
Ahead by the 2-0 score after the break, Okolie worked his way around a Babson defender near the endline and sent a cross to Alex Bilodeau, who one-timed in a shot for the 3-0 score. The Beavers cut into the lead 10 minutes later, drawing a foul in the box and capitalizing off a penalty kick strike to pull within two.
The Diplomats pushed the lead back to 4-1 in the 80th when a long ball from Ben Draheim found Dave Martin, who beat the Beavers 'keeper far post. Bilodeau wrapped up the scoring just 42 seconds later, tallying his second off the day off a header pass from Stephen Sherbahn en route to the four-goal win.
Bilodeau's two scores gave him three on the season. F&M led in shots by a 17-10 margin, including a 10-3 edge in the first. Corners were limited for both teams with the Diplomats holding a narrow 3-2 advantage. Bilodeau and Fincher both notched three shots to lead the attack.
Trevor Britton (16-3) earned the win with a pair of stops in 84 minutes of action. David Reingold finished out the final five minutes of play but did not face a shot. His counterpart Stephen Donato (11-6-2) was charged with the loss after allowing all five goals and turning back a pair of shots.
Check back with GoDiplomats.com later tonight for updates on tomorrow's opponent.