LANCASTER, Pa. – A Carl Friedrich freekick strike in the second overtime period delivered No. 13 Franklin & Marshall a crucial 1-0 win over No. 16 Stevens on Wednesday evening at home.
The non-conference win between a pair of nationally-ranked teams improved the Diplomats' record to 5-1 on the season while Stevens suffered its first loss of the year at 6-1.
Friedrich's scoring chance was set up with a Ducks' foul just outside the 18-yard box. A trio of Diplomats huddled around the freekick with Max Geuder and Connor Whitacre two-touching a soft past to Friedrich who blasted it home. It marked Friedrich's second consecutive game-winner after he also tallied the lone goal in the team's 1-0 shutout of Scranton last Saturday.
Alex Lalovic broke through the Stevens' backline in the 12th minute by splitting a pair of Ducks in their defensive third, nearly tallying the first goal of the game. However, the Stevens' goalkeeper stormed off the line and slid to the turf to thwart the effort.
The Ducks responded with an opportunity of their own nine minutes later, finding space in the box off a corner kick opportunity and forcing Diplomat goalkeeper Christopher Amoruso to make a leaping stop near the crossbar.
In the 37th, a Steven Yakita header off a long lofted cross from 40 yards out hit the post and nearly rolled into the net wasn't able to cross the line as the game remained scoreless.
At the break, Stevens led in shots by a narrow 5-4 margin, as well as corners at 5-2. The only shots on goal came from F&M by a 3-0 margin.
A flurry of F&M shots opened the second half, including a Christian Avila Neres, try in open space that forced a diving stop in the 51st.
Stevens desperately attempted to keep its head above water in the middle stages of the second as F&M's offensive attack provided a steady dose of scoring chances on net. Near misses from F&M, and timely defensive stops from the Ducks continued to hold the Diplomats off the scoreboard.
Ryan Hannum had a golden look on net with less than five minutes to go in regulation, settling a misplayed ball in the box but firing an attempt just high. A dramatic final minute saw an F&M goal waved off thanks to an untimely Diplomat foul, sending the contest into overtime.
Goalkeeper Christopher Amoruso (5-1) earned his second straight shutout, stopping five shots in 103 minutes for the win. His counterpart, Aeden Boriotti, was charged with the loss after registering three saves.
Shots favored the Diplomats by a 23-13 margin. Christian Avila Neres led the offense with four shots.
F&M returns to the pitch on Saturday, opening Centennial play at home against Muhlenberg. Game time is set for 3:00 p.m.