Success did not come easy for the 2017 Franklin & Marshall men's soccer team, but as has been the case in recent memory, the Diplomats' continued to find a way to win.
To watch a highlight video of the 2017 men's soccer team, click here.
Injuries to key players and a slow start to the year did little to deter F&M's drive toward its 14th straight winning season with an 11-6-2 record, as well as the program's first Centennial Conference (CC) Crown since 2013, and the team's fifth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.
F&M sat at 4-5-1 overall heading into an Oct. 7 road contest against Ursinus, where the Diplomats began to turn their season around with a 5-0 bashing of the Bears. The lopsided victory kicked off a 7-0-1 unbeaten streak that culminated with a 1-0 shutout of Dickinson on Nov. 5 in Baltimore for the program's second-ever Centennial Championship.
Zach Colton's '18 free kick in the 66th minute provided the scoring punch, while freshman goalkeeper Christopher Amoruso '21 registered a seven-save effort on his way to being named the Tournament MVP.
The Conference Title allowed the Diplomats to automatically qualify for the NCAA Tournament, as F&M faced No. 12 Drew in the First Round on Nov. 11. A back-and-forth contest in Williamsport, Pa. eventually gave way to a deciding second-half tally from the Rangers as the Diplomats fell by a hard-fought 3-2 score.
F&M featured one of the most aggressive offenses in the country, ranking seventh across all of Division III in corner kick opportunities per game with a 7.53 average and seventh in program history with 1.95 goals per game average.
Jason Tonelli '18 was an All-CC First Team and All-Region Second Team member after placing sixth in the Conference with 22 points and fifth with 11 goals. His five game-winning scores on the year were third among CC players and the 13 in his career placed him second in the F&M record book. Tonelli finished his career as one of the most dynamic scorers in program history, placing ninth in career points (59) and seventh in career goals (28).
Wyatt Fabian '18 joined Tonelli on both postseason award lists after helping to spearhead a backline that allowed just 0.97 goals per game, the third-best mark in the Centennial. Ben Draheim '18 (All-CC Second Team) and Ryan Corr '20 (All-CC Honorable Mention) were also honored for their contributions to the F&M defense, while Ryan Fincher '19 received CC Honorable Mention recognition as a midfielder after placing fourth in the CC with seven assists.