Franklin And Marshall vs. Scranton
May 5, 2002
The Game Story:
LANCASTER, PA -- Andrew Kuskowski (Sr., Huntington, NY/Huntington) scored two goals and dished out four assists to earn Most Valuable Player of the Game honors as the Franklin & Marshall Diplomats (9-7) won their first ever Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) men's lacrosse championship with an 18-3 rout of the University of Scranton (9-8).

F&M, which entered the game following a 7-6 loss to #1 nationally ranked Gettysburg College in the Centennial Conference playoffs, would jump out to a 9-0 lead in the first half behind pairs of goals from Bas Solleveld (So., Glenmoore, PA/Shipley), Bryan Kobel (Sr., Franklin Lakes, NJ/Don Bosco), Beau Smith (Jr., Baltimore, MD/Gilman), and single scores off the sticks of Jon Singer (Jr., Reisterstown, MD/Boys Latin), Steve Welsh (Fr., Lewes, DE/Cape Henelopen) and Vandy Vanderwarker (So., Keswick, VA/STAB). With 4:34 left in the first half, Scranton's Rob Loderstedt sidearmed a shot that went under the crossbar for the first of back-to-back scores by the Royals. Seventy-five seconds later, sophomore attackman Dennis Mahon tallied a goal to cut the lead to 9-2 at halftime.

Franklin & Marshall would hold the Royals scoreless for the next 22:49 while scoring six third period goals and three in the fourth to take the 15 goal victory. The key for F&M was defense as the Diplomats held Scranton to 2:43 of time in the offensive zone during the first period and 6:48 in the first half. The pressure led to turnovers on which the Diplomats capitalized throughout the game. Smith put Franklin & Marshall up to stay at 5:10 off a Vanderwarker assist for a 1-0 lead. Solleveld added an unassisted score at 6:18 and converted a pass from Vanderwarker at 8:26. Kobel added scores at 7:24 and 13:33 for a 5-0 lead through the first period of play for all the Diplomats would need to record the win.

The game avenged a 13-10 defeat to Western Maryland College in the 2001 ECAC South Region title game. Historically, this year's contest marks the second time F&M has advanced to the post-season since a 15-9 loss in the 1995 NCAA Quarterfinals to Gettysburg College. In addition, it marked the second time in the 45-year history of the sport at Franklin & Marshall College, that the men's lacrosse program earned a bid to the ECAC playoffs. Overall, the Diplomats are now 9-0 all-time against Scranton dating back to the schools' participation in the Middle Atlantic Conference during the late 1980's through early 1990's. As a department, the men's lacrosse championship marked F&M's second ECAC title this year following a championship performance by the men's basketball versus Kings College. For the year, F&M appeared in four ECAC championship games (men's soccer, women's basketball, men's basketball, men's lacrosse), the most by any school in the Centennial Conference.

In goal, Mike Sartorius (Fr., Summit, NJ/Summit) made eight saves, while reserve goaltenders Will McIntire (Fr., Arlington, VA/Taft) and Kristian Schweitzer (So., Short Hills, NJ/Millburn) notched six and two stops, respectively. For Scranton, Tom Kenyon blocked away 13 of the Diplomats 41 shots while allowing 18 goals.