Diplomats Battle Back to Tie Swarthmore

Diplomats Battle Back to Tie Swarthmore

Box Score

LANCASTER, Pa. - Robert Maze's 89th-minute score tied the game and forced overtime but the No. 11 Franklin & Marshall men's soccer team was forced to settle with a 2-2 2OT tie against Swarthmore on Saturday evening in Lancaster. 

The Centennial Conference (CC) decision brought the Diplomats' record to 8-0-2, 2-0-2 CC while the Garnet now sit at 6-3-1, 2-1-1 CC. 

Possession was even in the game's opening minutes of the contest before the Diplomats' offense took over. F&M controlled the pace in its offensive third, eventually leading to a 15th-minute tally from Connor Whitacre for the 1-0 lead.

Steven Yakita kick-started the play with a cross to the left side of the box. Whitacre went down to the turf for the sliding shot on net, sneaking the ball past Swarthmore's goalkeeper and into the bottom-left of the goal. 

The momentum was short-lived as just six minutes ticked off the clock before the Garnet came up with an answer, knotting the game at 1-1. Ethan Witkowski collected the ball from 30 yards out and lofted a pass into the box that was volleyed into the back of the net by Zach Viscusi. 

In the waning minutes of the half, the Garnet pulled ahead by a 2-1 score when Woojin Shin sent a long cross to the far post that was shot past Amoruso off the right foot of Julian Bueno. 

Heading into the break, Swarthmore led the shot count at 9-4 while corners belonged to F&M by a 2-0 margin. 

In the 72nd minute, the Diplomats nearly tied the game when Cole Niggeman lofted a long cross into the box nearly missing a cutting Steven Yakita and sailed out of bounds. 

F&M's offense continued to mount pressure late in the frame and Yakita was in on the action again in the 83rd, firing a cross to Alex Lalovic whose header narrowly missed to the left of the post. 

With just 1:12 left in regulation and the Diplomats trailing by a 2-1 tally, a Joshua Cagan throw-in was headed into the box by Ugo Okolie and then headed on net by Max Geuder. Swarthmore's goalkeeper appeared to make the stop, but he dropped the ball, allowing Robert Maze to notch the game-tying goal to force overtime.

In the first overtime period, F&M's offense threatened throughout but was unable to tally the deciding score. A Diplomat corner kick in the final seconds nearly led to the go-ahead goal but Jim Connolly's attempt on net went high.

A flurry of F&M scoring chances late in the second overtime period was nearly capped off with an Okolie goal, but his 107th-minute attempt on net was turned back by the Swarthmore goalkeeper. 

The overall shot count favored F&M at 20-15, including a 16-6 edge after the first half of regulation. Connolly paced the offense with four shots, while a trio of Diplomats followed with three apiece. 

Amoruso (5-0-2) was solid in net with six saves in 110 minutes of play while his counterpart Oliver Steinglass (3-1-1) also stopped six shots on the evening. 

The Diplomats return to non-conference action on Tuesday, traveling to Eastern for a 4:00 p.m. competition.