LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's men's soccer team embarks on the 2016 season armed with the No. 12 ranking in the national poll, marking the third-straight year the Diplomats held a top-15 spot in the preseason rankings.
Competition starts on Thursday when F&M opens its campaign with a gauntlet of tough matchups, beginning first with a road contest against Alvernia at 7:00 p.m.
To watch a season preview video, click here.
A total of 20 returners, including a six-member senior class, are welcomed back into the mix to form the core of the 2016 squad. The entire group that helped anchor the defense with the best goals against average in the Centennial Conference (CC) at 0.61 per game remains from a year ago, along with four of the top five goal scorers for a team that finished second in the CC in scoring at 2.29 goals per game. Eleven freshmen and one transfer will help provide depth and infuse even more talent into an already deep lineup.
To view a video roster for the 2016 team, click here.
This year's group will be responsible for overcoming the loss of the most successful senior class in the history of the program. First Team All-American Chase TenBrook, Trevor Britton, Vince Perry and Devon Malfitano departed Lancaster with a 62-16-5 record, three NCAA Sweet 16 appearances, an NCAA Elite Eight showing and a CC Championship through their four years.
D – Jeremy Levine – Sr.
D – Ben Wild – Sr.
F – Janse Schermerhorn – Jr.
D – Wyatt Fabian – Jr.
F – Jason Tonelli – Jr.
D – Ben Draheim – Jr.
F – Ugo Okolie – So.
Defense once again figures to be a strength and will be led by captain's Levine and Wild. Levine has started 49 games throughout his career, while Wild is coming off a stellar 2015 season that saw him garner All-Region Second Team and All-CC Honorable Mention accolades. Fabian, an All-CC Second Team member after starting all 20 of the Diplomats' contests and Draheim, who started 18 games, help solidify the back line.
Reigning CC Rookie of the Year, All-Region First Team and All-CC Second Team selection Okolie looks to build on a freshman season that saw him place second on the team with 18 points (6 G, 6 A), while Schermerhorn, a captain who started 20 games and registered nine points, joins him at forward. The Diplomats will also lean on Tonelli for scoring after he tied for second on the team with six goals last year, as well as D1 transfer Stephen Harlan who is expected to immediately contribute at forward.
Senior Dave Reingold is expected to replace Britton in net with a trio of other goalkeepers battling to fill out the depth chart. Reingold offers talent and size to the position, along with the experience gained from playing behind a pair of All-Region members in goal throughout the previous three seasons.
The Diplomats enter the season at No. 12 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Preseason Poll. Haverford (No. 6) and Dickinson (No. 25) are the other CC Institutions on the list. Amherst ranks No. 1, followed by Loras (No. 2) and Oneonta (No. 3).
To view the complete top-25, click here.
In the CC Preseason Poll, F&M was picked to finish second behind defending champion Haverford. The Fords received six out of 10 first-places votes, while the Diplomats received four.
To view the complete preseason poll, click here.
The Road Ahead
The season's first home contest at Tylus Field is slated for Sunday, Sept. 4 against the first of five NCAA Qualifiers that appear on the Diplomats' schedule when No. 10 Lycoming comes to town for a 1:00 p.m. game.
CC play kicks off against Swarthmore on the road Saturday, Sept 17 at 7:00 p.m. while the first round of the conference playoffs are set for Wednesday, Nov. 2 with the finals on Sunday, Nov. 6. The Diplomats will look to get back to the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight season when the Tournament gets underway with the opening round on Saturday, Nov. 12 and culminating with the National Championship game in Greensboro, N.C. on Saturday, Dec. 3.
A continued featured to the schedule is the "Add to Calendar" button, which allows fans to sync new events and updates directly in their Google, Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook, ICal and additional calendars.
Look for the icon below, which can be accessed at the top-right of the 2015 men's soccer schedule when viewed on your computer, or bottom-left of all schedules on your mobile device.
Follow Along (Social Media)
All of your favorite Diplomat athletic teams are available on social media. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram, like them on Facebook and subscribe to the Diplomats YouTube page for frequent highlight videos of games throughout the season.Video | Live Stats
Game 2 Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016 No. 12 F&M vs. No. 10 Lycoming | Lancaster, Pa. | 1:00 PM Series Record: F&M Leads 6-2-1 Streak: F&M +5 Last F&M Victory: 4-1, Sept. 14, 2011 Last LYCO Victory: 2-1, Sept. 13, 1997 Video | Live Stats
Game 3 Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016 No. 12 F&M vs. York | Lancaster, Pa. | 7:00 PM Series Record: F&M leads 4-3 Streak: F&M +1 Last F&M Victory: 1-0, Aug. 30, 2014 Last York Victory: 2-1, Sept. 22, 2005 Video | Live Stats