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Messiah, Franklin & Marshall survive first weekend of DIII tournament

Eastern, Elizabethtown, Haverford and Rowan all fell in second round

Messiah College Athletics

Messiah and Franklin & Marshall are the only two teams from the region left after a busy weekend of results in the NCAA Division III tournament.

Messiah advanced with a 2-0 win over Christopher Newport at home on Sunday after blowing out Centenary 6-0 in the opening round Saturday. Jacob Bender scored the game-winner in the 36th minute and goalkeeper Connor Bell had a six-save clean sheet.

The Falcons (18-0-3) will meet Calvin in the sectional semifinal on Friday at a location and time that has not yet been announced.

Franklin & Marshall (14-3-4) advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight year with a 2-0 win over Washington & Lee. The Diplomats controlled possession much of the way and found the back of the net in each half to secure the victory.

Zach Colton (Tabernacle, N.J.) chipped in the game-winner in the 13th minute and Dave Reingold had only two saves to make.

Up next for the Diplomats is a Saturday match against SUNY Cortland at Messiah College.

While there was sweet victory for the two central Pa. powers, the other four teams from the region didn’t fare so well on Sunday.

Rowan’s special season came to an end with a 1-0 defeat to Tufts at home while Haverford suffered the agony of losing a penalty shootout on home turf after a 1-1 draw with UMass Boston.

Eastern were edged by SUNY Oneonta 2-1 after getting to the second round with a 2-0 win over Rochester and Elizabethtown fell to the only other team to beat Rowan this season in Rutgers-Newark after knocking off Vassar in the first round.

Click here to see the complete bracket.