Series History: F&M faces a pair of tough challenges this week in its effort to build on a torrid 5-0 start to the season. The Battle of the Smith-Herr Boot is slated for Wednesday against a red-hot Elizabethtown team that enters action at No. 22 in the nation with its own 5-0 record. Lately, a series the Blue Jays have routinely led at 24-9-4 has been in favor of the Diplomats, who have not lost to Elizabethtown since 2009.
Centennial Conference (CC) play starts up on Saturday when Swarthmore heads to Tylus for a 1:00 p.m. game. F&M trails all time by a 38-26-5 margin, however the Diplomats have won three straight, including a 2-0 shutout last season on Sept. 20th.
Last Week: A 3-0 win against Houghton on Friday, followed by a 3-1 victory over Randolph on Saturday allowed the Diplomats to remain unblemished on the year. On Friday against Houghton, goals by Ugo Okolie (10th minute), Conor Pellas (73rd minute) and Dave Martin (87th minute) keyed the win, while goalkeeper Trevor Birtton stopped the only shot he faced for his third shutout of 2015.
On Saturday, F&M emerged from a scrappy, physical contest with a hard-fought 3-1 win against Randolph. Chase TenBrook ( 26th minute), Jason Tonelli (50th) and Wyatt Fabian (69th minute) all lit the scoreboard on the evening.
To view a highlight video of these games, click here.
In the Rankings: F&M leapt to the No. 4 ranking in both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and D3soccer.com polls, up eight spots from the previous week. The Diplomats are now the highest-ranked team in their region and are the only CC Institution featured on either list.
Among the Leaders (NCAA): F&M's shutdown defense ranks among the best in the nation in several statistical categories, placing 15th in goals against average (0.2) and eighth in shutout percentage (80 percent).
Among the Leaders (CC): Several Diplomats find their names among the conference leaders, with Okolie, Tonelli and TenBrook placing in a tie for fifth with six points each on the season. TenBrook leads the CC in shots at 19, while Britton is one of only two goalkeepers to not let up a goal in 2015, with Washington's netminder Josh Samuels being the other.
Record Book Watch: Britton enters the week with 21 career wins, which places him sixth on the program's all-time list. Zach Zamek '10 leads the way with 41. The senior goalkeeper's 15 shutouts stand in fifth, a record that also belongs to Zamek with 25. TenBrook continues to climb the ladder in several offensive categories and currently places 17th in career points (46), 15th in career goals (19) and 10th in game-winning scores (3).
Tylus Win Streak: Entering play this week, F&M has not dropped a regular-season contest at home since Oct. 2, 2013 in a 2-1 overtime loss to Ursinus, a streak that spans 16 contests.