LANCASTER, Pa. -- Ben Beaver's goal in the 34th minute was all of the offense Franklin & Marshall needed to send Susquehanna back to Selinsgrove with a soccer loss. Beaver's fifth goal of the season was the only tally in F&M's 1-0 shutout of the Crusaders (8-4).
Franklin & Marshall (6-3-2) repelled a Susquehanna surge and then took advantage of numbers going back the other way. Mike Irving played a ball to the left flank for Beaver. He carried the ball down to the six and hammered it across the face of B.J. Merriam into the upper right corner for the decisive marker.
The goal roused Susquehanna's offense, but the Crusaders could not cash in. Charlie Welch chipped in with a save on a lob that got over the head of Zach Zamek in the waning moments of the first half. That came early in a 25-minute stretch of sustained Susquehanna activity at the Diplomats end following Beaver's goal. Adam Matteo slipped a shot just wide of the post seconds later.
Susquehanna had an additional pair of chances in the opening minutes of the second half. The first shot went high, while Austin Gordon's blast from point blank went just right of the net.
The Crusaders kept coming, but Franklin & Marshall kept coming up with answers. Welch used a big tackle to prevent a sure Susquehanna breakaway in the 73rd minute. Shane Atha's header off of a corner in the 85th minute appeared destined for the right side of the F&M net, but Zamek got the paw out in time for his sixth save of the game to preserve the shutout, the 22nd of his career.
Rob Hassler's confident tackle prevented a breakaway with a minute left and killed a solid chunk of the final 60 seconds. Irving blocked a final shot in the last five seconds of the game to seal the win.
The Diplomats offense offered several counter attacks in the second half. Beaver got a late breakaway, but it was gobbled up by Merriam for his only stop of the night. Seconds later, Beaver had another opportunity and got the ball past Merriam, but it trickled past the left post. The Diplomats also had a goal waved off for offsides with 12 minutes remaining.
The Diplomats return to action on Saturday against Swarthmore.
Susquehanna (8-4) vs. Franklin & Marshall (6-3-2)
Date: Oct 13, 2010 Attendance: 211
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Susquehanna......... 0 0 - 0
Franklin & Marshall. 1 0 - 1
1. 33:35 F&M Ben Beaver (5) (Mike Irving)
Shots: Susquehanna 18, Franklin & Marshall 11
Saves: Susquehanna 1 (B.J. Merriam 1), Franklin & Marshall 6 (Zack Zamek 6)