By Joe Clark, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter
FRANKLIN, Mass. – For the Franklin boys soccer team Friday night, defense was the name of the game, especially late at Pisini Field as the Panthers snuck by the Foxboro Warriors for a hard fought 2-1 win.
Coming into the game, Franklin coach Fran Bositis knew that Foxboro would be a tough team to beat and tailored his game plan accordingly.
“We felt that for us to be successful, we needed to win all the 50-50 balls, reduce the time in space they had to play with the ball, and not only win the 50-50 balls, but to win the second and third balls, and I think we did a good job of that,” Bositis said.
On the other side, the Warriors had their fair share of opportunities as well, but Franklin’s defensive unit, led by senior backs Connor SanClemente and Alex Chitarra, along with junior goalie Freddie Beckmann stepped up to deny any Foxboro scoring chance.
Late in the first half, Franklin broke through. In the 30th minute, Cam LeBlanc saved the ball from going out of bounds on the endline and crossed it over to a wide open Kevin Hall who headed in the first goal of the game and his third of the young season
Bositis was happy with the way his offense kept at Foxboro despite getting denied early, saying, “We kept looking at it, and I’m pleased with what they did and how they played, and I’m certainly pleased about the final result.”
In the 44th minute, Foxboro’s early second half scoring opportunity was thwarted when Anthony Barreira’s cross was intercepted by Beckmann. For the next twenty minutes, neither team could break through.
Finally, in the 60th minute, Asmath found junior midfielder Connor O’Rourke open in the front of the net for a header, but quick reflexes from Harrison kept the score at 1-0. Just two minutes later, Foxboro’s Brady Gardner’s shot was saved by a diving Beckmann, who used all of his 6’4 frame to deny Gardner.
In the 66th minute, Asmath again set the table, this time for Hall who put one past the Foxboro keeper to give Franklin a 2-0 lead.
Down 2-0, Foxboro got more and more aggressive on the offensive end, and Barriera’s perfectly placed shot in the 73rd minute found the corner of the net to cut Franklin’s lead in half.
In the final 10 minutes it was the defense again that reigned supreme, as Franklin forced Foxboro into taking tough shots to try to tie the game up.
“I think the defense did a nice job stepping up, and we needed them to step up,” Bositis said. “I think Connor SanClemente and Alex Chitarra, and really all of the back five played well, and especially at the end there they really stepped up.”
Franklin boys soccer (3-0, 3-0), will try to remain unbeaten when they face Oliver Ames, another unbeaten side, on Tuesday. Foxboro (0-2-1, 0-2-1) will look for its first win when they return home on Tuesday against Sharon.