By Joseph Yamulla, Layout Assistant||

There has been a lot to cheer about lately at F&M. It has been an eventful past few weeks for the F&M men’s soccer team— the Diplomats are headed to the NCAA Sweet 16 in Oneonta, New York.

The Diplomats came into this season with high expectations, and they put in the work needed to get to this position. F&M goes into the game on Nov. 22 with an impressive record of 16-1-3. None of these wins came easily. For example, during the game on Oct. 3, against Muhlenberg, F&M won 1-0 after playing through two overtime periods. All three of their ties came after two overtimes as well. Strong defensive play has been a component that helped F&M get to the point that they are at. The Diplomats played five games before finally giving up a goal when they played Alvernia. They have now played a total of 20 games, and have only given up nine goals to the opposing team, while scoring 37. Their consistent and strong offensive attack, backed by their stellar defensive play, are some of the main reasons that F&M is in contention for a National

Trevor Britton has done an exceptional job as goalkeeper this season. He has a total of 53 saves, with a save percentage of .828. On the offensive side, Chase TenBrook leads F&M in goals with nine goals scored. Sam Lane is next, netting six goals in total. Jared Bomba has knocked in five. Meanwhile, the impressive freshman, Janse Schermerhorn, has scored four goals for the Diplomats this season. Bomba and Shermerhorn also lead the team in assists. Bomba has five assists and Schermerhorn has four. Chase TenBrook is the points leader with 21.

This season’s success is also due

to the excellent coaching of Dan Wagner, head coach. Wagner was enthusiastic about his team coming into this season, and he had reason to be. It is his 13th season as head soccer coach, and he is coming off another successful year last year. Last year, F&M won their first Centennial Conference Championship, and advanced as far as the NCAA Elite Eight. Wagner has turned the program into a Division III national contender.

In the first round of the NCAA playoffs on Nov. 15, F&M beat Johnson & Wales 1-0 on a very cold night. The following day, they took on Rochester in the bitter cold. Just like the day before, it was a close contest. The game was tied 2-2 and went into two overtimes. The Diplomats prevailed despite the adversity of being in another close contest. The team is prepared to go on the road on Saturday and take on Oneonta State University.

F&M has only played Oneonta State two times in the program’s history. The Diplomats are 2-0 against them, and beat them last season by a score of 1-0. Oneonta has also had a spectacular season. The Red Dragons go into this game with a record of 19-0-2.

Despite a hard fought game, the Diplomats fell in Oneonta by a score of 2-1. F&M’s Ben Draheim was able to score the first goal of the game. However, the Diplomats were unable to hold off two consecutive goals from the Red Dragons. The outcome was disappointing for the team, however the Diplomats have nothing to hang their head about this season. They put together some remarkable performances and made the school proud as they advanced through the NCAA Tournament. Seniors, David Rosenfeld, Jared Bomba, Max Watson, Sam Lane, Chris Scott, Matthew Landy, and Derek Pawlush will certainly missed next year. It has been a great ride for F&M soccer in 2014, and the team looks forward to having another successful run next year.

First-year Joe Yamulla is a layout assistant. His email is