The Franklin & Marshall men's soccer team etched its name in the school record book and further advanced its place among the top echelon of programs in DIII with an unbeaten regular-season record, a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 and a number of captivating wins that will forever be imprinted in Diplomat lore.
To watch a highlight video of the 2014 F&M men's soccer team, click here.
Hosting its first NCAA contest in program history, the pair of F&M postseason wins at Tylus Field in the middle of November were not for the faint of heart. The first round opened with a 59th minute goal by senior Chris Scott '15 to deliver the Diplomats a 1-0 shutout of Johnson & Wales (R.I.) and a meeting with Rochester in the second round. Knotted up at 2-2 following a pair of overtimes and 110 minutes of play, a combination of unbelievable goalkeeping from Trevor Britton '16 and clutch scoring handed the Diplomats a memorable 4-2 advantage in penalty kicks.
F&M's storied run came to an end in the Sweet 16 when a 76th minute goal by eventual Final Four participant No. 3 Oneonta State dealt the Diplomats a heartbreaking 2-1 loss. With a 16-2-3 mark to cap the season, F&M finished the year with a No. 12 ranking, its second consecutive top-15 mark to conclude a campaign.
Reaching as high as No. 5 in national rankings, the regular season was filled with late-game heroics, including a Jared Bomba '15 second-overtime tally in a 1-0 win over Muhlenberg on Oct. 3 and a Jeremy Levine '17 score with just 12 seconds remaining in regulation that dealt Johns Hopkins a 2-1 loss on Oct. 18.
For the second straight season, the Diplomats opened the year with five straight shutouts and blanked their opponents 13 times during the course of 2014 to tie the program record. Individually, Britton set a pair of F&M single-season marks in net after recording 12 shutouts and 16 wins. The junior goalkeeper finished the season with the lowest goals against average (0.60) in over 60 years of F&M soccer, and second only to Walt Len's 0.44 GAA in 1952.
The Diplomats' gaudy statistics placed near the top of several categories in the nation as F&M ranked 11th in shutout percentage (62 percent), 15th in goals against average (0.60) and 12th in winning percentage (83 percent).
Bomba concluded his stellar four-year career with eight game-winning goals, which placed him in sole possession of third on the all-time list, with teammate Sam Lane '15 close behind in fifth with his five winning tallies. Lane registered 16 assists as a Diplomat, a mark that places eighth all-time.
Postseason awards came flooding in for F&M following another historic season:
David Rosenfeld '15
Jared Bomba '15
Chris Scott '15
Trevor Britton '16
Sam Lane '15
Chase TenBrook '16