Franklin & Marshall advanced to its third consecutive Sweet 16 after defeating King's College 2-1 on Wednesday night in Lancaster. The Diplomats now look to advance to the Elite 8 in the program's ninth NCAA appearance, entering this year's tournament via an at-large bid after finishing as runners-up in the Centennial Conference (CC).
The Pod: No. 8 F&M will square off with No. 5 TCNJ in the Sweet 16, marking the first meeting between the two schools. The Lions have won the last three New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Titles and are appearing in their third consecutive Sweet 16, including a National Championship in 2014.
No. 7 Babson will host the pod and face St. John Fisher in the other regional semifinal. The Beavers enter the weekend with a 19-2 record, and are fresh off of a 1-0 victory over MIT in the NEWMAC Final, giving them a second conference title in program history and a first-round bye into the Sweet 16. The Cardinals of St. John Fisher also carry a 19-2 record into the regional semifinals, winning their last 18 games including a pair of 2-1 victories over Washington & Jefferson on Nov. 5 in the Empire 8 Final and Rhodes on Nov. 9 in the NCAA First Round.
Ticket Prices: Tickets are $6 for general admission and $3 for students, senior citizens, military personnel, and children ages 3-12.
NCAA First Round: Goals from Erin Coverdale and Sydney Cole helped F&M turn around an early 1-0 deficit en route to a 2-1 first-round victory over King's College on Wednesday night. A stingy Diplomat defense did not allow another shot after the Monarchs took an early lead in the fourth minute of action.
In the Rankings: This week's Penn Monto / NFHCA Division III Poll moved F&M back one spot to No. 8. Ursinus (No. 6) and Muhlenberg (No. 16) also represent the CC in the rankings, but the Mules did not earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament after falling to the Diplomats in the CC Semifinals.
Among the Leaders (NCAA): Franklin & Marshall's vaunted defense finished the 2016 regular season with the best goals-against average in the Centennial at 0.98. That mark is also good for the 15th-best mark in all of Division III.
Milestone Watch: Cole's gamewinner on Wednesday gave her 10 career game-winning goals. She currently stands third in the program record books, just three behind the record of 13 held by Becky Willert '12.
Sarah Schannauer's five defensive saves this season have propelled her to third in program history with a total of nine. Steph McDonald '13 holds the record with 16.