Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018
F&M at No. 21 Stevens | Hoboken, N.J. | 7:00 PM
Series Record: Tied 2-2
Streak: STE +1
Last F&M Victory: 3-0, Oct. 5, 2016
Last STE Victory: 1-0, Oct. 3, 2017
Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018
F&M at Johns Hopkins | Baltimore | 1:00 PM
Series Record: JHU leads 40-23-8
Streak: F&M +3
Last F&M Victory: 1-0, Oct. 15, 2016
Last JHU Victory: 2-1, Oct. 31, 2012
No. 16 Franklin & Marshall heads into, arguably, the most challenging portion of the Diplomats' 2018 schedule as just three weeks remain in the regular season. A pair of the nation's top programs is on tap as F&M hits the road to take on No. 21 Stevens Tuesday before battling Centennial Conference (CC)-rival Johns Hopkins (Received votes in coaches poll) in Baltimore on Saturday.
CC Playoff Picture: With just four CC games remaining in the regular season, the Diplomats are in the driver's seat of a playoff spot with their 3-0-2 record entering the week. F&M needs two wins in its final four games, or a win and a Swarthmore and Washington College loss to seal one of the five seeds.
Series History: The series with Stevens was evened at 2-2 last year on Oct. 3 after the Ducks struck in the 47th minute to steal a 1-0 win in Lancaster. The previous two games in the series each went F&M's way with a 3-2 win in 1989 and a 3-0 blanking in 2016.
Hopkins may hold a decisive 40-23-8 all-time series lead, but it is the Diplomats who have had the upper hand of late as F&M enters Saturday's contest unbeaten in the last six outings with the Blue Jays at 3-0-3. However, the previous two games resulted in 2OT ties - a common theme in the series as eight of the last 13 competitions reached an extra period of play.
Flair for the Dramatic: Johns Hopkins and F&M have been involved in tight contests as of late with each of the previous 15 games in the series being decided by one goal or less.
The Diplomats' last two wins over the Blue Jays have been even closer. In 2014, Jeremy Levine tallied the game-winner with just 12 seconds to go in the second half, and Ben Wild delivered a deciding score with 11 seconds remaining in 2016.
In the Rankings: The Diplomats' continue to be recognized nationally and currently sit at No. 16 according to the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division III poll, down 11 spots from the previous week.
To view the top-25, click here.
F&M also slipped to No. 16 in the D3Soccer.com poll but remain the highest-ranked Centennial team. Hopkins reentered the week six rankings at No. 24.
To view the complete top-25, click here.
Last Week: F&M went 1-1 last week, suffering its first loss of 2018 with a 1-0 setback against Eastern on Tuesday, before bouncing back with a 2-0 shutout of Ursinus at home on Saturday.
Against Eastern, the Diplomats held the edge in every statistical category and narrowly missed on several quality scoring chances in a tough-luck loss to the Eagles. Eastern notched the 64th-minute tally for the win.
To read the complete recap, click here.
Against Ursinus, first-year player A.J. Kopacz notched both of the Diplomats' markers in the 14th and 63rd minutes, while F&M's stringent defense allowed just one shot on goal in a dominant team win.
Among the Leaders: Jim Connolly sits atop the CC leaders in assists with five, followed by Ugo Okolie in second with four. Connor Whitacre and A.J. Kopacz are tied for eighth in points with 10 each, while the duo is tied for fifth in goals with five apiece.
In net, Christopher Amoruso's .818 save percentage ranks second, while his 0.62 goals against average is also second.
As a team, the Diplomats place third in goals scored per game with a 2.25 average, while F&M's 0.74 goals against average leads the Centennial.
Record Book Watch: Okolie continues to climb the ranks of the program's career assists leaders and now places in a tie for third with 19. Brandon Corday '07 leads the program with 25. Ryan Fincher and Jim Connolly are close behind in 12th place with 14 helpers each in their careers.
Goalkeeper Christopher Amoruso broke the top-10 for career shutouts and now places eighth with nine. Zach Zamek '10 holds the record with 25.
Not Cutting Any Corners: F&M ranks seventh in Division III with an average of 7.33 corner-kick opportunities a game.
Spreading the Wealth: As a team, the Diplomats place 42nd in the nation in assists per game with a 2.0 average.
Defending the Home Turf: F&M is 8-0-2 in its last eight games at Tylus Field, an unbeaten streak that dates back to Oct. 3, 2017. The Diplomats haven't dropped a CC game at home since Oct. 31, 2015, holding a 9-0-3 record in their previous 10 Conference contests in Lancaster.