LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's No. 4 ranked men's soccer team scored three goals in the opening 12 minutes, thrashing McDaniel by a 7-0 score on Saturday and locking up the No. 1 seed for next weekend's Centennial Conference (CC) Tournament.
The Diplomats improved to 15-2, 8-1 CC on the year while the Green Terror's season drew to a close at 11-6, 3-6 CC. Saturday's seven-goal output was the most for a Diplomat team in a single game since 2007 when F&M tallied nine against St. Vincent College.
As the top seed for the CC Playoffs, the Diplomats earn hosting rights and will battle the winner of the No. 4/5 matchup, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday at a site yet to be determined. The Semifinals will occur on Saturday in Lancaster. Game times will be determined on Monday. Stay tuned to GoDiplomats.com for more information as it becomes available.
Just eight minutes ticked off the clock until the Diplomats netted their first goal. Dallen Moore collected the ball along the far sideline and lofted a long cross down low into the box. Alex Lalovic sent a header to the far post that was then headed into the back of the net by A.J. Kopacz for his team-leading 11th of the season.
In the 12th, F&M made it a 2-0 game when Christian Avila Neres slid a short pass to Jack Brandt, who finished with a high shot from 20 yards out. Fourteen seconds later, Alex Lalovic forced a turnover in the McDaniel defensive third and capitalized with a shot that careened off the goalkeeper's hands and in for the decisive 3-0 lead.
The Diplomats nearly tacked on several times throughout the remainder of the half and went into the break with an 11-4 advantage in shots and a 2-0 edge in corners.
F&M piled on the goals in the second half, adding four additional scores en route to the blowout win. Christian Avila Neres and Brandt scored within a minute of each other to extend the lead to 5-0 in the 68th.
The final shot count belonged to the Diplomats at 23-7, along with corners at 5-1. Brandt ended with two goals on the afternoon while Neres, Lalovic, and Kopacz each recorded a goal and an assist.