BALTIMORE, Md. – Zach Colton's 66th-minute penalty kick score delivered Franklin & Marshall's men's soccer team their first Centennial Conference (CC) Championship since 2013 with a 1-0 shutout against Dickinson on Sunday afternoon in Baltimore.
The Diplomats improved to 11-5-2 with the win, earning the CC's automatic berth into the upcoming NCAA Tournament. F&M will learn its fate on Monday when the NCAA selection show takes place at 1:30 p.m. Fans can view the bracket release here.
Sunday's win marked the Diplomats' second-ever CC Championship and program's first since the 2013 season when F&M downed Dickinson by a 2-1 2OT score.
Goalkeeper Christopher Amoruso was named the CC Tournament MVP after a seven-save effort in the Final and a four-save performance in Friday's CC Semifinal win over Gettysburg.
Amoruso helped F&M withstand an early surge from the Dickinson offense in the opening minutes of the first half with a pair of clutch saves in the early going.
F&M stole back the momentum and garnered its first opportunity in the 26th minute when Stephen Sherbahn fired a shot from 15 yards out to the near post, but the Red Devils' goalkeeper made a diving stop to his left and punched the ball out of harm's way.
Following the halftime break, Dickinson slid behind the F&M backline in the 54th minute and had a golden opportunity on the far side of the box, but Amoruso went down to the turf and turned away the low shot on goal.
In the 66th minute, Ben Draheim worked around a Red Devil defender, drawing a foul in the near side of the box that led to Colton's penalty kick opportunity. The senior defender made good on his chance, beating the goalkeeper with a well-placed shot for the 1-0 edge.
Amoruso successfully dealt with a header opportunity in the box in the 72nd minute, sprawling out with a diving stop to his right to preserve the lead and allow F&M to hold on for the win.
Dickinson held the 13-11 edge on the overall shot count with the Diplomats holding a 6-5 advantage in the final half. Corners were in F&M's favor at 10-5.
For more information on next week's CC Tournament, stay tuned to GoDiplomats.com.