SHARON, Mass. – Sharon senior Ben Stamm scored once in each half and the Eagles’ defense was able to limit Franklin in a 2-0 win on Friday afternoon.
The Eagles didn’t waste much time to seize the lead, finding the back of the net inside the opening five minutes. Sharon then iced the game with just over 10 minutes to play. Both goals came off long throw-ins.
“We haven’t used the long throw-in at all,” Sharon head coach Bryan Kelly said. “Two goals off of long throws is really nice. And on those direct kicks, if could get on the end of some of those, we could have scored more but it’s something we’ve got to work on. This season is the most we’ve scored on set pieces since I’ve been here.”
In the fourth minute, Shubojit Roy-Chowdhury launched a long throw from the attacking third into the area. The ball fell to Stamm, who had his first shot blocked. The senior kept with it and got another shot, this one was partially blocked but trickled in at the far post to put Sharon up 1-0.
“We’ve been working on possession and switching the field a lot since the KP game,” Kelly said. “Some of the pieces fell into place today. Getting that early goal, just that little poke in, it gave us confidence to ride. We lost a little composure after that but I have a good group of seniors that can get it back for us. And I have a lot of subs at my disposal and we don’t get any worse.
“We’re deep, we’re fast and when we play the way we know how to play, we come out on top.”
Franklin had the only other scoring chance of the first half. In the 16th minute, Matt Poirier launched a service from the right sideline, just a few steps over half. The ball was deflected and bounced through Sharon’s area and found Farley Asmath, but his bid went over the bar at the far post.
Chances were aplenty in the second half, the first just two minutes into the stanza. Spencer Hall worked to get some space on the left sideline and hit a service to the back post. Oliver Hu elected to have a go on a one-time volley but his bid went high.
In the 55th minute, the Panthers had a free kick from midfield that Asmath met with his head to flick on. Kevin Hall ran onto the ball at the back post but his touch went just over the bar. Two minutes later, Sharon had a chance when Alex Romantz flicked the ball to Andrew Reyes-Jones in the area but Franklin keeper Freddie Beckmann was first to the ball to end the chance.
Ten minutes later, Sharon’s Marques Benton played a ball into Reyes-Jones but once again Beckmann was quick off his line to gobble the ball up. In the 68th minute, a free kick from Franklin’s Liam Kapples found the head of Hatim Brahimi in the area but Sharon keeper Ethan Kantor smothered the loose ball before a Panther could latch onto it.
Finally in the 69th minute, the Eagles cashed in on another long throw. Tyler Hippler tossed the ball into the area and a scoffed clearance from the Panthers defense led to an open opportunity for Stamm and he buried it at the far post to make it 2-0.
“In practice, we emphasized making sure, even if we lose the ball, we don’t stop playing,” Kelly said. “We have to keep playing until we get the ball back. When we have players start to buy into the system, that’s what we see. We have a great defense this year too. With Shalin [Patel] at stopper and Shubojit at sweeper, we hopefully shut down the best player on the other team.”
With the win, Sharon boys soccer (6-3-2) moves into a tie atop the Davenport division with Canton – both 5-3-2 in league play. The Eagles have three straight home games, starting with a visit from Foxboro on Monday.
After picking up five wins in its first six games, Franklin (5-6-2, 4-5-2) has now gone winless in its last seven games. The Panthers will try to bounce back with a trip to Oliver Ames on Monday.
“I don’t have any answers, it’s a funny team,” Franklin head coach Fran Bositis said. “We’re just finding ways to lose games. It’s been a combination of things. I don’t think it’s from a lack of effort but I don’t know what it is, I can’t figure it out.”