LANCASTER, Pa. - Franklin & Marshall's men's soccer team's journey toward another successful campaign begins next Friday when the Diplomats head to Lebanon Valley for the 2019 season opener.
To watch the season preview video, featuring head coach Dan Wagner, click here.
Last year's offense featured one of the most balanced attacks in program history as 14 members of the team recorded a goal, with 11 accumulating multiple tallies. Three All-Centennial Conference (CC) returners highlight a deep 2019 F&M squad that welcomes back eight members with 10 or more starts.
The Diplomats will need to overcome the loss of three All-CC players and staples of the lineup in 2019 graduates Ugo Okolie, Ryan Fincher and Jim Connolly.
Players to Watch
Connor Whitacre '20 garnered All-Mid-Atlantic Region and All-CC First Team honors after leading the team with six goals and 21 starts.
A.J. Kopacz '22 burst onto the scene with six goals as a first-year defender, which helped land him on the All-Region and All-CC Second Teams, while Ryan Corr garnered All-CC Second Team honors after anchoring a Diplomat backline that surrendered a CC-leading 0.82 goals-against average.
To watch the 2019 video roster, click here.
The Road Ahead
F&M starts 2019 with a five-game, non-conference road stint that begins against Lebanon Valley on Friday, Aug. 30th. The home opener occurs on Wednesday, Sept. 18th against Stevens before the Diplomats host Muhlenberg on Saturday, Sept. 21st for the Centennial opener.
The CC First Round is slated for Wednesday, Nov. 6th with the Championship on Sunday, Nov. 10th. NCAA Tournament play begins with the First and Second Rounds on Nov. 15-16 while Greensboro, N.C will host the NCAA Final Four and Championship for the second consecutive year on Dec. 6-7.
Record Book Watch
Connor Whitacre is tied for seventh in program history in career game-winning goals with five, while teammate Robert Maze is close behind in 11th with four. Ben Beaver '14 tops the list with 20 in his career.
Goalkeeper Christopher Amoruso broke the top-10 for career shutouts and now places sixth with 10. Zach Zamek '10 holds the record with 25. He has also accumulated 16 wins in his career, a mark which places ninth. Zamek also holds that record with 41.
In the Polls
The Diplomats enter 2019 as the nation's No. 17 ranked team according to the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll. Johns Hopkins also represents the CC at No. 22, while Haverford received votes. Complete Poll.
CC Home Win Streak
The Diplomats haven't dropped a Centennial game at home since Oct. 31, 2015, holding an 11-0-3 record in their previous 14 Conference contests in Lancaster.
Closing in on 200
Entering his 18th season at the helm of F&M's program, head coach Dan Wagner is just four victories shy of reaching 200 career wins.
He holds a 196-86-41 overall record and became the program's all-time wins leader in 2012. Only four other coaches in the history of the CC reached the 200-victory milestone, with the leader being Johns Hopkins' Matt Smith with 240.
A Record Streak
F&M's six-consecutive NCAA Tournament bids is a record streak unmatched in the history of the Centennial Conference (CC). The Diplomats hold an 11-6 playoff record during that time span, including a 7-1 record in Lancaster.