Diplomat sports teams surge into the playoffs, looking for a championship

By Jamie Belfer || Sports Editor

Photo Courtesy of godiplomats.com

As the regular season for fall 2019 sports is winding down, teams are revving up to prepare for their first playoff games.  F&M Field Hockey, Volleyball, and Men’s Soccer will be competing in the Centennial Conference playoffs in hopes of winning a championship.  These teams have had successful seasons with winning records and huge victories to earn a spot in the playoffs.

The F&M Volleyball team started off their season on a hot streak, winning the first four games of the regular season.  After a tough first 3-2 loss to Clarkson at the North Country Invitational, the Diplomats bounced back with two more impressive victories.  Once conference play began, the Diplomats were unbeatable.  F&M defeated all of their conference opponents in dominant victories of either 3-0 or 3-1.  Their sole loss came in their final conference game of the season to Johns Hopkins, making their conference record 9-1 and overall record 19-5.  The Diplomats earned the no. 2 seed in the playoffs and will be facing off against McDaniel, the no. 3 seed, on Saturday, November 9.  The Diplomats are seeking redemption against the Green Terror as they were defeated by McDaniel 3-0 in the semifinal round of the 2018 Centennial Conference playoffs.  However, the Diplomats have proved they can contend with McDaniel as they defeated them 3-1, earlier in the regular season.  If the Diplomats get past the Green Terror, they will face the winner of Johns Hopkins (no. 1 seed) and Haverford (no. 4 seed) to fight for a conference championship.  

The F&M Field Hockey team has had a similarly successful regular season.  They got off to a fantastic start, winning the first eight games until falling to Messiah in a close 3-2 game.  The Diplomats bounced back, and continued to dominate by winning the final 7 out of 8 final regular season games.  Similar to F&M Volleyball, the Diplomat Field Hockey team lost a close game to Johns Hopkins in their final game of the season.  Although they tried to stage a fortuitous comeback, they ultimately fell to Johns Hopkins 2-1.  The Diplomats finished 15-2 overall and 9-1 in the conference to earn the no. 2 seed in the playoffs.  They will face off against Ursinus (no. 3 seed) on Friday, November 8 in hopes of reaching the Centennial Conference Championship.  If they defeat Ursinus, they will then play the winner of no. 1 Johns Hopkins and no. 4 Bryn Mawr.  If both F&M and Johns Hopkins make it to the finals, it will be the third year in a row that it would be a Diplomat, Blue Jay finale.  Both teams have each won once, so the Diplomats hope to tip the scale and come up with a victory.   

The F&M Men’s Soccer team’s overall record mirrors the Field Hockey team’s record of 15-2.  After losing their second game of the season to Stockton 1-0, the Diplomats battled to win their next eight games.  F&M Men’s Soccer finished with an 8-1 record in the conference, with their only loss being to Johns Hopkins.  However, the Diplomats defeated their final three competitors and ended their regular season with a defeat of McDaniel, 7-0.  Even with their sole conference loss to Johns Hopkins, the Diplomats were able to secure the no. 1 overall seed in the playoffs.  The Diplomats will play the no. 5 seed Gettysburg in the semifinals on Saturday, November 9.  If they win, they will face the winner of Johns Hopkins (no. 2 seed) and Dickinson (no. 3 seed).  The Diplomats look to rebound after losing a 3-2 loss in double overtime to Haverford in the conference championship.  

As the stakes are raised, the Diplomats must continue to play at their best to have a magical ending to round out their fantastic regular seasons.

Sophomore Jamie Belfer is the Sports Editor. Her email is jbelfer@fandm.edu.

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