By Joe Clark, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter
FRANKLIN, Mass. – A year ago, Franklin beat Concord-Carlisle in the D1 East Final. This year the teams met a round earlier, in the semi-final, and not only were the stakes different, but the result was as well, as Concord-Carlisle pulled off a 14-10 win in a back and forth game that featured four ties and five lead changes.
“They knocked us on our butts last year, they physically took it to us, but I think it was a learning experience for us, we really had something to prove today and I think we did an outstanding job,” said Concord-Carlisle coach Paul Morrison.
Franklin started out the game strong, with two good goal opportunities early, but two great saves by Natalie Slade turned the Panthers away. They were eventually able to capitalize, with goals from Kelsey MacCallum and Katie Jones giving Franklin a 2-0 advantage early on.
But, when C-C switched to Fallon Vaughn on the draw, the Patriots went on a huge run of draw controls, taking a 9-3 advantage in that category at the end of the first half. After MacCallum put Franklin up 3-1, Concord-Carlisle went on a four-goal run from 9:08 to 7:22 in the first half.
“Offensively, we were patient, especially when they went up by a couple in the first half, we didn’t rush it down there, we were patient, and we got good looks,” Morrison added
Franklin was able to cut the lead to 5-4 after Annie Walsh found Katie Jones, but a play that might have been the turning point occurred with just over three minutes to go in the first half when, after a Gianna Cameron save, Payton Vaughn read the clear pass perfectly, picked it off, and cashed in to put C-C up 6-4.
Franklin was able to get one back, however, as Jones scored her third of the game with 1:13 left in the half to cut the halftime lead to 6-5.
Erin Walsh came out ready to play for Franklin the second half, scoring back-to-back goals and assisting on a Jones goal that put Franklin up 8-6.
Payton Vaughn and Evelyn Karl scored for C-C to tie the game up, but MacCallum helped Franklin regain the lead at 9-8 with her second goal of the game. C-C got right back in it though, as Karl scored her second goal of the game and Payton Vaughn went on a three-goal run by herself to put Concord-Carlisle up 12-9 with 7:50 to play.
“We’ve talked about focus for about a week and just doing the little things,” Morrison said about his team’s energy. “Just doing the little things, go to the game and let it come to you.”
With the game at 12-9, Erin Walsh scored her third of the game to cut the lead, but back-to-back goals by Evelyn Karl finished off Franklin and gave the Patriots a 14-10 win and a bid to their second straight sectional final.
Concord-Carlisle will face Walpole in the D1 East Final after the Rebels Lincoln-Sudbury on Monday night. Franklin ends its season with a 14-6 record, but the future is promising for the Panthers with multiple underclassmen on their roster.
“We’re definitely going to miss our seniors, we thank them for everything we’ve done, but we do have a young team but hopefully a loss like this motivates us to work harder in the offseason and come back and get back here and win this game,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe Guarino about the Panthers’ youth going forward.
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