LANCASTER, Pa. – No. 14 Franklin & Marshall's offense dominated possession from the onset and never took its foot off the gas in a 2-0 shutout of Washington & Lee on Saturday evening in the Second Round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament in Lancaster.
With the win, the Diplomats (14-3-4) advanced to an unprecedented fourth consecutive Sweet 16 while the Generals (15-5-2) saw their season draw to an end after putting forth a valiant effort at Tylus Field.
F&M came out firing in the opening minutes and quickly got on the board with an unbelievable free kick goal from Zach Colton in the 13th. With the ball placed on the flank, near the end line, Colton somehow managed to hook a shot into the near post for the 1-0 lead.
Despite a close shot count through the first 45 minutes that belonged to Washington & Lee at 7-6, the Generals failed to generate any scoring chances with just one attempt on net.
The Diplomats narrowly missed out on a multitude of chances in the second half and continued to control the pace in their offensive third. In the 73rd minute, the Generals had their best look at tying the game when a turnover deep in F&M's defensive zone forced Diplomat goalkeeper Dave Reingold out of the net and down to the turf with a sliding play in front of the ball.
A foul was called on the play, resulting in a freekick for the Generals. Will Hamryka opted for the lower-left of the goal, but All-Centennial Conference (CC) First Team selection Reingold was there for the critical diving stop to preserve the lead.
Robert Maze added some late insurance in the 89th minute, with his second goal of the tournament and ninth of his season, when Ryan Fincher threaded a cross to the far post that was hit into the lower right of the goal by the freshman forward to seal the win.
Reingold (14-3-4) earned his second consecutive shutout and ninth of the year with two saves on the night. His counterpart Gillen Beck (10-4-2) suffered the loss after registering three saves.
Overall, shots were led by F&M at 18-10 with a 12-3 edge in the second half. Corners favored the Diplomats at 3-2. Five members of F&M's offense had three shots each.
The Diplomats must now wait until tomorrow to discover their Sweet 16 opponent and location. Fans can follow along with the NCAA bracket by clicking here, as well as by staying tuned to GoDiplomats.com for the latest updates.