No. 6 Men’s Soccer Opens 2017 Season on Friday

No. 6 Men’s Soccer Opens 2017 Season on Friday

2017 Schedule | 2017 Roster | Preview Video | 

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LANCASTER, Pa. – With the highest preseason ranking in program history and fourth straight season with a spot in the top-15, Franklin & Marshall's No. 6 ranked men's soccer team aims to live up to its top billing in 2017.

The Diplomats open action on Friday, traveling to Alvernia to face Cal Lutheran at 4:00 p.m. before returning home on Saturday to take on Alvernia at 7:00 p.m.

To watch the 2017 season preview video, featuring head coach Dan Wagner, click here.

2017 Diplomats 

A total of nine players who started 10 or more games a year ago return to the pitch, to go along with an 11-member freshman class that is expected to fight for crucial roles, giving F&M one of its deepest team's in Wagner's tenure. 

To view a video roster for the 2017 team, click here.

Replacing a senior class that was the most-successful in the Diplomats' history will provide a challenge for this year's squad. Jeremy Levine, Conor Pellas, Matt Regueiro, Dave Reingold, and Ben Wild all played meaningful roles after leading F&M to four-consecutive Sweet 16 appearances, which was done by only five other teams in the nation, and a pair of Elite Eights. 

Players to Watch 

D – Wyatt Fabian – Sr.

D – Ben Draheim – Sr.

D – Zach Colton – Sr.

F – Jason Tonelli – Sr.

M – Paul McWhirter – Sr.

F - Stephen Sherbahn - Sr.

D – Janse Schermerhorn – Sr.

The backline figures to be a strength on the team and is led by Fabian, a returning All-American who started all 23 games from last season. Fellow defender's Draheim and Colton are expected once again to play vital roles after starting 22 and 15 games, respectively, in 2016.

F&M's midfield also sees its fair share of returners as McWhirter, Cole Niggeman and Ryan Fincher, who was credited with four assists last year, help provide depth to the unit.

Tonelli tied the Centennial Conference (CC) lead with 11 goals and will be looked toward to continue that production in order to offset the loss of Ugo Okolie (3 G, 9 A in 2016) who is out for an extended period of time due to injury.

The graduation of All-CC goalkeeper Reingold also leaves a hole to be filled in net. Several Diplomats continue to compete for that role as F&M may employ a committee approach to open the year.

Preseason Polls

The Diplomats were rewarded with the No. 6 position in the newly-minted United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll after finishing last season at the same ranking. Haverford is the only other CC institution to find its name on the list, currently sitting at No. 18.  

To view the complete preseason poll, click here

In the CC Preseason Poll, F&M was picked to finish second behind defending champion Haverford. The Fords received six out of 10 first-places votes, while the Diplomats received two. Johns Hopkins secured a pair of remaining first-place votes to place third.

To view the complete preseason poll, click here

The Road Ahead 

Following the opening weekend slate of games, the Diplomats enter the most-challenging portion of their schedule that features matchups against four NCAA Qualifiers in the month of September. Key non-conference contests include a rematch of last season's NCAA Second Round matchup against No. 24 W&L on Sunday, Sept. 10th, the Smith-Herr Boot game against Elizabethtown on Wednesday, Sept. 13 and a meeting on the road with No. 17 Rowan on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

CC play begins at home against Muhlenberg on Saturday, Sept. 16th and is followed by always-intriguing tilts against Haverford (Sept. 23) and Dickinson (Sept. 27). 

A continued feature to this year's schedule is the "Add to Calendar" button, which allows fans to sync new events and updates directly in their Google, Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook, ICal and additional calendars.  

Look for the icon below, which can be accessed at the top-right of the 2017 men's soccer schedule when viewed on your computer, or bottom-left of all schedules on your mobile device.

Centennial Conference Digital Network

The Centennial Conference announced a partnership with Stretch Internet to become the conference's digital network provider and establish a central location for all CC athletic events.

In addition to its Roku channel, the Conference will have three new over-the-top (OTT) applications to make broadcasts available – Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Android TV. All home broadcasts from all 11 members will be available on CentennialConference.TV and the OTT apps.

This new service comes at no cost to the viewers of Centennial play.

Follow Along (Social Media) 

All of your favorite Diplomat athletic teams are available on social media. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram, like them on Facebook and subscribe to the Diplomats YouTube page for frequent highlight videos of games throughout the season. 

All home contests are now streamed in HD video, free of charge. Fans can follow the action through the live stats page, found here.   

Game 1

Friday, Sept. 1, 2017

F&M vs. Cal Lutheran (at Alvernia) | Reading | 4:00 PM

Series Record: First Meeting

Streak: N/A

Last F&M Victory: N/A

Last CL Victory: N/A

Live Stats

Game 2

Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017

F&M vs. Alvernia | Lancaster | 7:00 PM

Series Record: F&M Leads 3-0-1

Streak: F&M +2

Last F&M Victory: 4-1, Sept. 1, 2016

Last AC Victory: N/A

Video | Live Stats