LANCASTER, Pa. – Wednesday evening's matchup between a pair of top-10 teams lived up to its much-anticipated billing, as No. 8 Rowan held off an incessant Franklin & Marshall offensive attack in the second half to down the No. 6 Diplomats by a 2-1 tally.
F&M lost for the first time this season, falling to 5-1-2 and bringing an end to the program's regular-season unbeaten streak against non-conference opponents that sat at 30, stretching back to 2012. The Profs remained unbeaten at 8-0.
Action was back-and-forth early on before Rowan looked to gain control with a flurry of shots 20 minutes in. With momentum slipping, the Diplomats' Ugo Okolie caused a turnover in the Profs' territory and sent a strike from 25 yards out that found a home in the top right of the goal for the 1-0 F&M advantage 26 minutes in.
With just seven minutes remaining until halftime, Rowan countered. Zack Sakena played a long ball off his head at midfield that hit off a Diplomat defender and landed on the foot of Shane Doherty.
The Profs' forward lofted a short kick over goalkeeper Dave Reingold, who charged out of the box, before Doherty finished off the play with a header that went into the back of the net.
Rowan tallied the dagger in the 60th minute of the second half when Ryan Logar volleyed a corner kick into the back post.
The final 30 minutes belonged to the Diplomats, who were unrelenting with their offensive attack. A golden opportunity presented itself in the 84th minute when Jeremy Levine lined up for a penalty kick, but goalkeeper Kyle Davis made an incredible diving stop to the lower right to preserve the win.
Reingold (5-1-2) was charged with the loss, allowing two goals and recording three stops. Davis (8-0) was stellar in net after picking up eight saves.
The Diplomats will aim to get back on track this Saturday when F&M welcomes Washington to Tylus for a 6:00 p.m. game.