NORTH EASTON, Mass. – There’s something about long distance that works for Oliver Ames junior Keegan Nutt.
After moving nearly 3,000 miles from Washington, the transfer student ripped a shot from distance in the first half to score the lone goal of the game as Oliver Ames downed Franklin, 1-0.
“I think overall it was a good game,” OA head coach John Barata said. “We put a good effort in and we played a lot of guys. We’re still trying to figure out what we’re doing but collectively I think the team put in a strong performance for the first game out against a very good Franklin team so we’re happy.”
A young Oliver Ames team jumped out all over the Panthers right away. In the sixth minute, senior Brandon Boone played a ball over the top to junior Chris Romero. Romero cut inside and ripped a shot with his left foot but Franklin goalie James Fredrick was up to the task.
After the first ten minutes, the Panthers calmed their play and were able to push forward but were unable to register a scoring chance.
In the 22nd minute, Romero found himself in possession along the right sideline. He played a square ball to Nutt in the middle of the field, just under 30-yards out. The rest was history.
“They played me across and took a touch, looked up and just cracked it and it went in,” Nutt said.
Asked if he had any hesitation taking the shot from that distance Nutt said, “Usually no just cause I feel confident to shoot it. If you’re confident enough to shoot it, you should just take it. They go in sometimes.”
Barata noted that there’s no restrictions on when and where his team can shoot from.
“They all have the green light to shoot from everywhere because we right now we don’t have any prolific scorers so we’re looking for everybody to try and get it in the net,” Barata said. ” Boone obviously is being marked, he has one or two guys on him all game so we have other guys stepping in. Keegan Nutt stepped up and hit a cracker.”
Neither team was able to get a real scoring threat in the first ten minutes of the second half. In the 54th minute, the Tigers went down to 10-men after a red card to Boone.
Franklin nearly capitalized on the man advantage six minutes later, almost scoring in the same fashion OA did. Senior defender Ben LaBelle found the ball in space and ripped a shot from distance, but his curling shot hit the crossbar and stayed out.
OA had two more chances to double their lead but couldn’t convert. In the 65th minute, Cam Johnson played a wide ball for Romero, who faked a cross and cut back in but his shot was wide at the near post. In the 69th minute, freshman Cam Vella hit a shot from inside the area but Fredrick made the save.
The Panthers were unable to muster up any serious scoring changes.
“We did nothing in the attacking third, nothing,” Franklin head coach Fran Bositis said. “I think [OA] played well, I thought they worked really hard. I thought they outworked us and won more of the 50/50 balls than us. They played with a little bit more – for a lack of a better word – enthusiasm than we did today.”
Both teams will return to action next Tuesday, September 9th. Franklin will host Foxboro while Oliver Ames travels to Taunton.
To view a full photo gallery of the Oliver Ames/Franklin game, click here.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
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