LANCASTER, Pa. – The No. 10 Franklin & Marshall men's soccer team enters 2014 with high expectations and will look to build off of last season's historic run that went all the way to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. The Diplomats' journey back will be a challenging one laced with multiple tests along the way. One of the toughest obstacles occur right out of the gate, as F&M opens its season on Friday with a meeting against the No. 2 team in the nation in Rutgers-Camden.
To watch the season preview video, click here.
F&M returns 21 of 28 players, including six who started at least 18 games, from the 2013 roster that captured its first-ever Centennial Conference (CC) Championship and won three straight contests in the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual champion Messiah.
This year's squad will need to supplement the loss of the program's all-time leading goal scorer in Ben Beaver, who paced the conference last season in tallies (15) and points (32). However, the combination of a talented and experienced backline, a slew of capable offensive threats, as well as a deep and gifted 10-member freshmen class figures to prove a recipe for continued success.
D - David Rosenfeld – Sr.
GK - T.J. White – Sr.
D - Chris Scott – Sr.
M/F - Sam Lane – Sr.
F - Jared Bomba – Sr.
M/F - Derek Pawlush – Sr.
M - Max Watson - Sr.
M - Devon Malfitano – Jr.
M - Chase TenBrook – Jr.
After setting a team record and recording the second-highest total in conference history with 13 shutouts last season, the Diplomats return a number of key players that look to once again create a formidable defensive unit. Headlining that group are the team's two captains in Rosenfeld and Scott, playing in front of White.
Rosenfeld became the program's eighth All-American last season after anchoring a backline that ranked 10th in the nation in shutout percentage (0.57) and 31st in goals against average (0.71), while Scott landed on the All-CC Second Team after starting all of the team's 22 contests. White became an All-American last season and garnered multiple postseason accolades following his 15-win year, which tied for the most all-time in single-season history.
Expecting to generate some offense on the attack will be Bomba, Lane and TenBrook. Bomba tallied seven points (2 G, 3 A) at forward, Lane registered nine points (2 G, 5 A) and TenBrook was second on the team in goals (5) and points (12).
To view last season's statistics, click here.
The Road Ahead
F&M goes head-to-head with a trio of team's ranked in the preseason top-25, including 2013 national runner-up Rutgers-Camden (No. 2), York (No. 11) and the only other CC Institution to make the list, Dickinson (No. 24). Right from the start, the Diplomats face a daunting home tournament, featuring all four teams who won major conferences a year ago and sustained various levels of success in the NCAA Tournament. The conference slate kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 20 when the team travels to take on Swarthmore.
The Diplomats open up the season as the No. 10 team in the nation according to the 2014 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire National Preseason Poll. The ranking marks the first time F&M has been ranked in the top-10 to start out the year. To view the entire top-25, click here.
F&M also claimed the top spot in the CC Preseason Poll, as voted on by the conference's coaches, receiving five of the possible 10 first-place votes.
Opening WeekendGame 1 Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 Franklin & Marshall vs. Rutgers-Camden | York, Pa. | 2:00 PM Series Record: Series Tied 1-1-1 Streak: RC +1 Last F&M Victory: 4-3, Oct. 19, 2005 Last RC Victory: 1-0, Sept. 11, 2010 Video | Live Stats
Game 2 Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014 Franklin & Marshall vs. York | Lancaster, Pa. | 7:00 PM Series Record: Series Tied 3-3 Streak: York +1 Last F&M Victory: 2-1, Oct. 5, 2004 Last York Victory: 2005 Video (HD) | Live Stats
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