Franklin Pulls Away in Second Half to Hold Off Taunton

By Joe Clark, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter

FRANKLIN, Mass. – On Thursday afternoon at Pisini Field, the Franklin Panthers utilized a three-goal second half to pull away for a 4-0 win over Taunton.

The first half was tough for both teams as they both struggled to find their footing. Franklin had the first good look of the half when an Emily Mastaj shot off of a Franklin corner in the 12th minute was stopped on a kick save by Taunton goalie Grace Pimenta. Another Pimenta save on a Miranda Smith shot in the 16th minute kept the game scoreless.

Franklin finally broke through in the 27th minute when senior Kathryn Noon found Smith, who converted a header in traffic, to give Franklin the first score and a 1-0 lead.

Taunton came fighting back In the 34th minute with their first scoring chance when junior Samantha Tichelaar’sshot off of a corner was saved by Franklin goalie Cat Robbins. In the 39th minute, Taunton again tested Franklin when Tichelaar found herself all alone on a breakaway, but a phenomenal diving save by Robbins preserved the Franklin lead.

The remainder of the first half and the beginning of the second half was a possession battle at midfield, as neither team could generate any scoring chances. In the 56th minute, a feed from Calen Frongillo led to a Halle Atkinson breakaway goal, which put Franklin up 2-0.

With the momentum now in its favor, Franklin capitalized just one minute later and it was Atkinson leading the way again, as her cross was finished off by Jess Kroushl, putting Franklin up 3-0.

In the second half, Franklin’s change in play was largely thanks to their improved passing.

“In the first half, we spent as much time passing to them as we did to each other. In the second half, when the kids started to take space before trying to give up the ball, making the defender commit to them, they had opportunities to pass to each other, and it opened up the field,” Franklin coach Tom Geysen said.

One of the keys for Franklin was a strong defensive effort, as they limited Taunton’s opportunities, especially in the second half. Seniors Abigail Gipson and Noon were especially important for Franklin, as they prevented Taunton from getting deep in Franklin territory by forcing turnovers.

The Tigers’ best chance to score in the second half came in the 62nd minute, when a shot of a corner was deflected away and back into Franklin territory.

Franklin’s final tally came in the 72nd minute, when Mastaj found an open Ellie Teixeira, whose shot found the top corner of the net, giving Franklin a 4-0 lead

“The second half was certainly a much superior half for us,” Geysen added

Franklin (3-1-1) will look to continue its four-game unbeaten streak on Monday at home when it takes on undefeated Mansfield. Taunton (0-5-2) returns home on Monday, where the Tigers look to pick up their first win against King Philip.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/22/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – FinalMax Gurnon had a goal and assist, both coming on long throws, for the Hornets. Jackson Murphy and Sam Hyland each scored goals and Brendan Sullivan added an assist in the win.

North Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalTyler Mann scored an unassisted first half goal to give KP the lead and Colby Koch wrapped up the win with a 20-yard strike with 10 minutes left in the game.

Franklin, 2 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalConnor SanClememte and Shawn Kilcoyne scored the goals for the Panthers and Aaron Frongilloo had both assists.

Girls Soccer
Mansfield, 3 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalHannah Reiter scored two goals a minute apiece with just eight minutes remaining to lift Mansfield to the win. Stephanie Kemp scored the Hornets’ other goal and Bryn Anderson and Allison Verge each had assists.

Foxboro, 2 @ Walpole 0 – Final

King Philip, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – FinalAshlyn Gaulin, Felicity Monfils, and Kayla Pasquel each scored goals for the Rocketeers. North also got two assists from Haley Guertin and one from Rachel Labonte.

Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 4 – FinalHalle Atkinson had a goal and an assist to lead the Panthers. Miranda Smith, Ellie Teixeira, and Jess Kroushl each scored one goal for Franklin. Kathryn Noon, Emily Mastaj, and Calen Frongillo had assists.

Field Hockey
Canton, 4 @ Milford, 1 – Final
North Attleboro @ King Philip, 3:30

Golf
Mansfield, 165 @ Stoughton, 180 – FinalJason Hindman of Mansfield had the medalist round, shooting a 37. Zack Terry added a 42 for the Hornets. Cam Doherty and Josh Roos both shot 43 for Stoughton.

Milford, 171 @ Franklin, 161 – FinalRyan Tomaso shot a medalist round of 38 but it was not enough for the Hawks. Franklin was led by Matt Dao, who shot a 39, and Matt De’Errico, who shot a 40.

Foxboro, 186 @ Sharon, 181 – Final

Franklin Starts Fast, Finishes Strong Against Milford

By Joe Clark, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter

FRANKLIN, Mass. – Franklin girls soccer kicked off their home opener today at 3:30 against Milford. By 3:31, the Panthers were already up 1-0.

Junior forward Miranda Smith stole the ball from a Milford defender and then netted a goal just seven seconds into the game. Franklin went on to score three more goals in a 4-0 win over the Scarlet Hawks.

After the goal, the teams battled back and forth., Franklin threatened again in the 11th minute, but Milford goalkeeper Olivia Marshall made a save on Smith to keep the score at 1-0. Franklin maintained a slight possession advantage for the rest of the half but Milford continued to battle to keep the game close.

Despite jumping ahead to an early lead, Franklin coach Tom Geysen didn’t believe his team responded the way it should have after the early strike.

“I’ve been doing this a long time, and a lot of times when you score that early, you kind of get a little complacent,” Geysen said.

In the second half, Franklin was anything but complacent, scoring two goals within the first 10 minutes. The first goal was registered when junior Ellie Teixeira found senior Nadia Havens, who deposited in a header in the 45th minute to double Franklin’s lead.

Franklin kept the pressure on from that point and just five minutes later senior defender Abigail Gipson found Halle Atkinson streaking towards the net, where the sophomore then put the ball past the Milford goalie. The final tally of the half and the game came in the 74th minute when junior forward Emily Mastaj connected with Smith, who put in her second goal of the game and sealed the victory for the Panthers.

The Panthers received strong defensive showings from junior goalie Cat Robbins who pitched a shutout as well as stout play from senior Kathryn Noon and junior Molly O’Reilly.

“We were certainly a lot better than we were last Friday against North Attleboro, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Geysen added about his defense. “Some of the kids in the back have experience; we have a lot with limited experience and some with none so it may take a while to get it to gel.”

Franklin girls soccer (1-1, 1-1) will look to make it two straight on Thursday when they travel to Foxboro to take on the Warriors (0-3, 0-3). For Milford (1-2, 0-2), they’ll look to rebound on Thursday when they host Taunton (0-2-1, 0-1).