LANCASTER, Pa. – Robert Maze's first-half goal, followed by lights out defense, lifted the No. 14 Franklin & Marshall men's soccer team past Geneva by a 1-0 score in the NCAA First Round on Friday evening in Lancaster.
With the win, the Diplomats improved to 13-3-4 on the year and will host either St. Lawrence or Washington in tomorrow's second round matchup at 5:00 p.m. The Golden Tornado's storybook season came to an end with a 16-4-1 overall mark.
F&M came out after the opening whistle with a burst of scoring chances in the early going and nearly lit the scoreboard in the sixth minute with back-to-back opportunities. Ben Draheim and Maze fired a pair of shots on net, but goalkeeper Luke Nolan turned back each attempt with two spectacular stops.
Maze finally helped the Diplomats break through midway through the frame. Ugo Okolie collected the ball along the endline and sent a cross to the far post that was put on net by Jason Tonelli. Geneva's goalkeeper turned back the initial shot, but Maze was there for the rebound to make it a 1-0 game.
In the second half, F&M controlled action in its offensive third throughout but failed to tack on to its lead. The Golden Tornados nearly made the Diplomats pay late in the frame when a freekick from 40 yards out was sent to the far post with seven minutes to go. Goalkeeper Dave Reingold made a strong play on the ball, sprawling out toward the crossbar and getting a hand on the attempt.
Reingold earned his eighth shutout and improved to 13-3-4 in his senior season with two saves on the night. Luke Nolan (13-3-1) gave a valiant effort in the loss with six stops through 90 minutes.
The shot count was dominated by F&M at 18-5, including a 13-2 edge in the opening half. Corners also favored the Diplomats at 9-4. Draheim paced the offense with six shots, followed by Tonelli with three.
The Diplomats will aim to advance to their fourth straight Sweet 16 with a victory in tomorrow's 5:00 p.m. matchup at Tylus Field. Stay tuned to GoDiplomats.com for the latest updates involving F&M's Second Round opponent.