LANCASTER, Pa. – No. 25 Franklin & Marshall and Elizabethtown battled to a 0-0 double-overtime tie in the 36th meeting of the Battle of the Boot on Friday evening at Tylus Field. With the tie, the Blue Jays (1-2-2) reclaim the boot from the Diplomats (4-0-1), as it is a tradition that the visiting team secures the boot in the event of a draw.
The Diplomat defense was superb once again, posting its fifth straight shutout to begin the year and limiting Elizabethtown to just eight shots and one corner kick. F&M managed 17 shots and 17 corners, but were unable to convert on multiple quality opportunities.
F&M put the pressure on the Blue Jay defense late in regulation, creating several dangerous chances in the box. In the 73rd minute, Jeremy Levine delivered a corner kick into the box that bounced off several players and found the foot of Derek Pawlush, who blasted it towards the far post but was blocked by an Elizabethtown defender on the goal line.
In the 80th minute, F&M put together a nice string of deft passes that culminated in a Vince Perry header finding the head of Sam Lane in the box, but Lane was unable to muster enough power on the header as Blue Jay goalkeeper Rodrigo Berrera corralled the save.
The Blue Jays had perhaps their best opportunity with time winding down in regulation. With just under two minutes to play, Elizabethtown earned their first corner kick of the contest, and Kyle Volk struck an attempted F&M clearance from the top of the box that ricocheted off a defender and struck the crossbar.
The first overtime featured both sides playing a bit more defensively in the early-going, before the Diplomats had a pair of golden opportunities to close out the game late in the frame. With 1:30 left in the first overtime, Ben Beaver curled a beautiful cross towards the far post, and Zach Fried whipped a header that was punched away by Berrera. A Levine corner with 25 seconds left eventually found the foot of Pawlush, who flicked a one-timer with his back towards goal that sailed just high.
F&M's best look at net came in the second overtime as Chase TenBrook flicked a header onto a racing Beaver, who poked a lofted left-footed shot that seemed destined to be the game-winner, but Berrera was once again in the right place and came up with a sprawling save to keep the game scoreless.
T.J. White (4-0-1) notched his fifth straight shutout in net for F&M, tallying two saves on the day. Berrera (0-1-2) turned away seven shots for the Blue Jays.
After two straight victories for F&M in 2011 and 2012 against the Blue Jays, Elizabethtown brings the boot back to its campus and now holds a 24-8-4 series edge.
The Diplomats return to action on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at Alvernia at 7:00 p.m.