Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019
F&M at Elizabethtown | Elizabethtown | 7:30 PM
Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019
F&M at Scranton | Scranton | 4:00 PM
Franklin & Marshall, ranked No. 12 in the nation, takes on a pair of non-conference foes on the road as the Diplomats enter the week with a 2-1 overall record to start 2019. The annual "Boot" game against Elizabethtown on Wednesday highlights the action as F&M is aiming for its second straight win over the rival-Blue Jays.
The Diplomats meet with Scranton on Saturday for the first time since 2009 and the first game in Scranton since 2005. The Royals lead the all-time series by a narrow 3-2-1 margin, but F&M hasn't dropped a game against Scranton since 2000.
Smith-Herr Boot Game
The annual "Battle of the Boot" began in 1977 and has been played each year since – aside from a rainout in 2010. The Smith-Herr Bronze Boot is a soccer shoe originally worn by Al Hershey, who was a two-time All-American at Elizabethtown before later coaching the Blue Jays and F&M.
The yearly clash is named for Robert Smith, who coached F&M from 1947 to 1963, and Ira R. Herr, who coached Elizabethtown from 1938 to 1948 and 1958 to 1960.
F&M went 1-1 last week after, dropping a tight 1-0 game on the road against Stockton on Wednesday, before rebounding with a 3-0 onslaught of Alvernia on Saturday in Reading.
Against Stockton, the Diplomats were upended by a 72nd-minute tally and came up short after a valiant comeback attempt in the game's waning seconds nearly forced overtime. Recap.
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 11. Zach Zamek '10 holds the record with 25. He has accumulated 18 wins in his career as well, a mark which places ninth. Zamek also holds that record with 41.
In the Polls
F&M jumped up five spots to No. 12 in the United Soccer Coaches Top-25 National Poll. Johns Hopkins is the Centennial's highest-ranked team at No. 5, while Haverford received votes. Tufts tops the list at No. 1. 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
In his 18th season at the helm of F&M's program, head coach Dan Wagner is just two victories shy of reaching 200 career wins.
He holds a 198-87-41 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.