LANCASTER, Pa. – Jack Brandt's 89th-minute free-kick goal gave Franklin & Marshall's No. 4 ranked men's soccer team a memorable 1-0 shutout win over Penn St. – Harrisburg in the NCAA First Round on Saturday afternoon.
The home victory advanced the Diplomats (17-3) into tomorrow's 3:00 p.m. Second Round matchup against either Montclair St. or Hobart. The Lions saw their season come to an end with a 15-6-1 mark.
Tomorrow's contest for an NCAA Sweet 16 ticket can be viewed on GoDiplomats.com/Live.
Each team traded chances from there but the Diplomat defense held tough throughout the frame. An F&M red card with three minutes to go in the first half put the Diplomats down a man. However, the Lions were unable to capitalize as the teams entered the break with a 0-0 tally on the scoreboard.
Penn St. – Harrisburg led in shots by a narrow 7-6 margin in the opening half while F&M dominated corners by a 5-0 margin.
In the 61st minute, F&M nearly took the lead off a Max Geuder corner opportunity that was headed in on net by A.J. Kopacz. His initial attempt was turned back, along with the Shay Adamson's rebound header that was dealt the same fate.
Despite playing with a man down for the remainder of the contest, the Diplomats controlled possession and rarely allowed Penn. St. – Harrisburg to move the ball into its offensive third.
With just over two minutes remaining, a costly Lions' penalty from 20 yards out gave the Diplomats a straight-ahead look just outside the box. A swarm of F&M players lined up near the ball. Brandt opted for the chance and laced a shot into the top-left of the goal for the winner.
Goalkeeper Sebastian Jenkins (1-0) entered the game near the tail end of the first half and didn't face a shot on goal through 48 minutes for the win. His counterpart Nicholas Guglielmett suffered the loss after registering two saves.
Shots belonged to the Diplomats at 13-10 after F&M led by a 7-3 margin in the second stanza. Corners were dominated by the Diplomats at 7-0.