LANCASTER, Pa. – Breaking a scoreless tie with a flurry of back-to-back goals in the second half, Franklin & Marshall's No. 12 ranked men's soccer team sustained a late rally to hold on and defeat No. 10 Lycoming by a 2-1 score on Sunday afternoon at Tylus Field.
The non-conference victory improved the Diplomats to 2-0 on the season while the Warriors, who along with F&M, made an appearance in last year's NCAA Sweet 16, fell to 0-2.
Knotted at 0-0 in the 60th minute, forward Ugo Okolie broke out on a two-on-one opportunity, laying off a touch pass to Stephen Sherbahn who fired a shot to the top right of the net and past Lycoming's 'keeper for the 1-0 edge.
The wheels began to fall off for the Warriors, and the Diplomats' offense kept their foot on the gas, following with another goal just two minutes later. Okolie was in on the action again, sending in a shot that bounced off the net minder and rebounded back into play. Jason Tonelli stormed in and rocketed a left-footed shot that found its way into the top right of the goal.
Lycoming managed to put a stop to the momentum shift in the 72nd minute. The Warriors' Steven Riad fired a turnaround shot from 12 yards out that landed far post to pull within one. However, F&M's defense stood tall in the final 15 minutes of play, despite numerous corner opportunities by Lycoming, to hold on for the win.
Senior goalkeeper Dave Reingold (2-0) was stellar in net, registering four saves, including an incredible diving lunge in the 23rd minute that resulted in a one-handed punch out that sent the ball past the end line. His counterpart Chris Solecki (0-1) also stopped four attempts in 90 minutes of play.
Shots were even at 12-12 with corners favoring the Warriors at 8-5. Tonelli and Okolie led the way with four shots each while Sherbahn and Stephen Harlan both had two.
F&M continues a tough non-conference slate on Tuesday, welcoming York to Lancaster for a 7:00 p.m. meeting.