LANCASTER, Pa. – The No. 4 Franklin & Marshall men's soccer team's quest for a repeat Centennial Conference (CC) Title came to an end on Saturday afternoon with a 2-0 loss to Haverford in the conference semifinals at Tylus Field.
The loss was the first for the Diplomats (15-1-2) in nearly a calendar year, snapping a 12-game winning streak at home, while the Fords (11-6-1) moved on to tomorrow's championship game with the victory.
Haverford came out firing in the early minutes, nearly capitalizing on a corner just four minutes into play. The cross landed on the left side of the box and led to a scramble in front of goalkeeper Trevor Britton, however the Fords were unable to find the back of the net as F&M's 'keeper managed to turn away the opportunity.
Twelve minutes into competition the Fords offensive pressure paid off, when a free kick from just past midfield hit off of Britton's hands and was kicked in by Will Corkery for the 1-0 Haverford lead.
Just minutes after falling behind, Chase TenBrook dropped the ball off to a cutting Jared Bomba on the right side of the box, who fired a rocket on net that missed just to the right. In the closing minutes of the stanza, a terrific defensive play by Derek Pawlush kept the Diplomats in the game. Haverford charged toward the net with a two-on-one break but the senior midfielder lunged toward the Fords' forward and jostled the ball away.
F&M came out of the break with a sense of purpose on the offensive end, continuously challenging Haverford's goalkeeper, however Sam Miller managed to fend off the onslaught. Still nursing a one-goal lead in the 83rd minute, the Fords put the contest out of reach with an unassisted tally from Sam Yarosh on the right side of the field for the 2-0 decider.
The shot count belonged to the Diplomats at 14-6, including an 8-2 margin in the second half, while corners were also in F&M's favor at 9-4. Bomba paced the team with three shots, while four other players tallied two a piece.
Britton (15-1-2) suffered his first loss in net, picking up a pair of saves on the day. Miller (10-3-1) earned the shutout win after stopping all three shots he faced.
The CC Championship game is set for tomorrow at Tylus Field, with action beginning at 2:00 p.m. Haverford must await the winner of today's other semifinal matchup between No. 2 Muhlenberg and No. 3 Dickinson. The Diplomats will learn their NCAA fate on Monday at 1:30 p.m. when the field is announced during the selection show, which can be found here.