No. 7 F&M Retains Boot; Blanks No. 15 Elizabethtown

No. 7 F&M Retains Boot; Blanks No. 15 Elizabethtown

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's No. 7 men's soccer team rose to the occasion on another early-season test to retain the Smith-Herr Boot Trophy in a 2-0 defeat of No. 15 Elizabethtown on Wednesday evening. 

The Diplomats improved to 4-0-2 while the Blue Jays lost for the first time this season and now stand at 4-1.

With the victory, F&M extended its win streak in the annual rivalry game with Elizabethtown to three straight. The Diplomats also prolonged their regular-season unbeaten streak against non-conference opponents to 30, a mark that stretches back to 2012. 

Following an undistinguished first half of play that saw F&M muster just one shot compared to Elizabethtown's six, the Diplomats' offense came out of the break on the attack. 

In the 56th minute, F&M got on the board when Jeremy Levine played a short pass to Janse Schermerhorn on the right wing, who crossed a ball into the box that was headed into the upper-left corner by Connor Whitacre. The score was Whitacre's first career goal and gave the Diplomats a 1-0 edge. 

The Blue Jays threatened four minutes later when a free kick just outside the 18-yard box was played in to the far post and headed just high of the crossbar. In the 80th minute, Elizabethtown nearly evened the score once again on a free kick opportunity near the goal line, but the attempt was headed wide of the net. 

Ugo Okolie applied the dagger in the 88th minute, taking a feed from Ben Draheim and cutting in along the goal line before scoring far post for his first of the season. 

Reingold (4-0-2) notched his third-straight shutout after registering five saves, with four coming in the opening half. Shots belonged to F&M at 14-9 as the Diplomats dominated by a 13-3 margin in the final 45 minutes of action. 

Okolie led the way with four shots, followed by Jason Tonelli with three and Stephen Harlan with a pair. Forward Gilbert Waso led the Blue Jays with three shots. 

F&M opens Centennial Conference (CC) competition on Saturday, traveling to Swarthmore for a 7:00 p.m. match.