By Joe Clark, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Franklin celebrated its 15 seniors before its game with Taunton on Wednesday but neither side could celebrate two points after the game as the teams finished with a 1-1 stalemate.
Taunton came into the game hungry for its first league win, and they played like it, getting their first scoring opportunity off of a corner just one minute into the game. However, a save from Franklin goalkeeper Joe Kroon kept the game scoreless.
Franklin had an opportunity of their own at the four minute mark, when a Farley Asmath shot was saved by Taunton keeper Tim Gambaradella, who had a huge night for the Tigers and was essential in helping them earn a point.
In the 10th minute, Taunton threatened again, but a big defensive play from senior defender Sean Kilcoyne helped Franklin force a turnover and go back on the offensive
The Panthers thought they had broken through in the 16th minute, celebrating a goal that ended up being waved off due to an offsides call. Franklin stayed on the attack though, and in the 25th minute had another great scoring opportunity, but a big save by Gambaradella kept the Panthers off the board.
Franklin, after plenty of missed scoring chances, finally broke through in the 39th minute, when a deep pass from Sam Stowell found Farley Asmath in stride, and he chipped on over the goalie’s head, putting Franklin up 1-0.
Taunton didn’t take very long to respond, and in the 40th minute junior Daeshawn Duffie put one in the back of the net to knot the score up at 1-1.
Franklin head coach Fran Bositis was unhappy with his team’s performance, especially in the first half, saying, “We squandered many scoring opportunities, especially in the first half, and then we gave up what I think is an unforgivable goal at the end of the first half that never should have happened, it was careless marking.”
The second half started off back and forth, with both teams jockeying for position. In the 65th minute, Franklin finally broke through with a real scoring opportunity off of a corner, but it was well-defended by Taunton. Taunton turned Franklin’s next corner into a counter attack, creating an opportunity to score, leading to a shot from Hatim Brahimi that just went over the crossbar, keeping the game tied up.
In the 70th minute, Franklin had their best scoring opportunity of the half, but Kevin Hall’s header was played beautifully by Gambaradella, who made a huge save to preserve the tie.
Taunton had one final scoring opportunity of its own in the 72nd minute, but a leaping save from Kroon killed the attack.
Taunton head coach Taylor Whitters was very happy with her team’s performance, saying, “We are finally moving forward, building momentum, and breaking through where we know we can be and where we should be.
“Their mindset was a lot different tonight, and that’s what it takes, a positive mindset.”
For Taunton (1-13-2), they’ll look to carry their momentum into a Friday night home matchup against KP. Franklin (6-6-3) will look to avenge their early season loss to Mansfield this Friday.
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