|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
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
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
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
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.