Canton Rallies in the Second Half to Beat Franklin

Canton girls soccer
For the second time in a week, Canton rallied from a goal down in the second half and sealed a win thanks to a Mekhala Costello goal, this time beating Franklin 2-1. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


CANTON, Mass. – Over the weekend, Canton played a tough, physical game against division rival Oliver Ames. It was Canton’s first loss of the season. Just a few days later, on Wednesday night at WWII Veterans Memorial Field, the Bulldogs had another competitive, physical encounter against division-leading Franklin.

This time, the Bulldogs started the game without leading scorer Emily McCabe. The senior forward was nursing an injury and would likely only be able to play a half, so head coach Idris Senyonjo left her out of the starting lineup. Canton struggled without the focal point of its attack, but McCabe emerged in the second half and sparked a massive turnaround.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

With McCabe up front for the final 40 minutes, Canton put the pressure on the Panthers, rallying from a goal down for the second time in a week and pulling out a 2-1 victory.

“She hasn’t trained all week, so I was going to either play her first half or second half,” Senyonjo explained. “Bringing her on in the second half would give them something different to think about. Em gives them a whole different dimension of what they’re going to have to worry about.”

It didn’t take long for McCabe to make her presence felt. She immediately charged at the Franklin back line and pressed center backs Norah Anderson and Lily Deforge (who was playing in the middle in place of injured junior Maddie Horton). McCabe added a different dimension to the attack, drawing attention and freeing up space on the wings, as both Emma Cahill and Caira McKinney looked dangerous after the break.

Twelve minutes into the second half, it was McCabe that would get the equalizer. She clipped a ball up over the defense from just outside the penalty area and then burst through a pair of defenders to get clean through on goal. She was just able to get a toe on the loose ball and poke it past onrushing Franklin keeper Rachel Welch.

“We knew it was going to be an aggressive game and we had to stick to the game plan,” Senyonjo said. “The idea was, if we could put their defense under pressure, we’re going to force them to make mistakes.”

Not only had Canton stemmed the tide of Franklin attacks, which was the story of the opening 40 minutes, but now the Bulldogs were taking control of the action in the midfield through Paige Sullivan and Mekhala Costello.

McCabe nearly created the go-ahead goal in the 56th minute. She slipped a pass into the path of Cahill, who was tripped up on the edge of the box. Canton cried out for a penalty but the official spotted the ball just outside. Costello’s free kick was on target, but right at Welch.

Ten minutes later, Costello would score the winner. Welch came out of the box to clear a ball over the top. Her clearance was in the middle of the field and Costello pulled it down about 40 yards from goal. The junior took a look, saw the keeper racing back to her line, and fired a shot into the unguarded net. It was her second game-winner in the past three games.

“I just feel bad for Rachel,” Franklin coach Tom Geysen explained. “She got caught too far out and there was nobody back there to help her, nobody. She feels like crap because the goal was scored on her, but where were her defenders? And that’s something I’ll make sure she understands.”

Franklin didn’t give up and battled right to the final whistle. The Panthers wrested some control back in the midfield down the stretch and had a series of free kick opportunities for Anderson, Deforge, and midfielder Bridget Leo to put the ball into the box.

With two minutes to play, the Panthers nearly snatched a point. Leo sent an angled ball to the edge of the area and Kelly O’Connor rose well to head the ball down across the penalty area. Right winger Olivia Costa raced in at the far post and appeared to get a touch to it, but Canton keeper Marissa Staffiere was off her line quickly and smothered the chance, saving the win.

Senyonjo loved the way his team was able to bounce back from the loss to OA, and that his team gave him a nice present for his birthday on Thursday.

“It’s huge,” he said. “Saturday was an emotional game. The girls were disappointed but super motivated to come and play today and it’s a huge win, at home against probably the top team in the other division right now.”

The game was physical throughout with neither team giving an inch, but in the first 40 minutes the chances almost all fell to the Panthers. Only three minutes in, striker Anya Zub found space running down the left channel and forced Staffiere into a save at the near post.

O’Connor was a constant menace on the left wing. She was able to turn away from her marker and chipped a pass for Zub to race onto, the forward’s clever outside of the foot chip again forcing Staffiere to make the stop. Three minutes later, the duo combined again with O’Connor getting a chance to test the keeper.

In the 22nd minute, Franklin’s pressure finally paid off. Leo’s outswinging corner dropped to the foot of Selene Hammad about eight yards from goal. She scuffed her first attempt at a shot but on her second attempt lashed the ball inside the post, giving Staffiere no chance.

Chances kept coming for the Panthers. This time it was a Katie Ewald corner that was headed clear by Sullivan. The ball dropped for Leo on the half-volley but her shot went over the bar. After a turnover at the back, O’Connor played a near-perfect angled, low cross to Costa at the back post, but Staffiere read it well and dove out to stop the pass hitting its target.

“We just ran out of gas,” Geysen said. “That’s the best effort we’ve had this season. They really worked their butts off tonight. I said, if you keep playing the way you played tonight, you’re going to win a lot of games. You got unlucky tonight, the soccer gods weren’t looking your way.”

Canton (6-1-1) won’t have much time to celebrate the win, as the Bulldogs will be on the road on Friday against Foxboro. Franklin (5-2-0) can expect another physical encounter on Friday when it travels to Attleboro.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/21/22

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
King Philip, 1 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery of this gameKing Philip junior Will Bowen scored the winner in the final minutes of the match to give the Warriors two points on the road over Foxboro. Moments after having his one-on-one bid with the keeper denied, Bowen ran onto a service over the top from senior Matt Crago and smashed a shot from in close that Foxboro keeper Ryan Cotter (12 saves) got a piece of but found its way under the bar and in. King Philip’s back line of Thomas Meader, Patrick Sullivan, Ethan Jack Hancock, and Tommy Lomuscio denied the hosts of creating many scoring chances, while Foxboro’s back four of Jack Sullivan, Marco Pacini, Andrew Linnehan, and Alex Penders, as well as defensive center mid John Hollis, all played well. Cotter was strong in net, including a key double save in the 21st minute — diving to his right to save a blast from Meader off a corner, and leaping the opposite way seconds later to deny Crago.

Attleboro, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – FinalOliver Ames scored a pair of second half goals to secure a key two points against Attleboro in a battle of the top two ranked teams in the Hockomock League. After a scoreless opening 40 minutes, a pair of sophomores linked up to open the scoring for the hosts. Casey Milliken notched his team-leading seventh assist with a through ball to classmate Andrew Martins to give OA a 1-0 lead less than three minutes into the second half. Senior Diego Rivera set up OA’s next goal with a long ball that was deflected in behind the defense with junior Ryan Linhares running onto it. Linhares smashed a terrific one-time shot from just inside the area to double the hosts’ lead. Sophomore Drew Hall recorded his second career shutout while OA head coach John Barata praised senior Hector Bucio and Jake Williams for anchoring the back line. Barata also noted the strong play of sophomores Jackson Mercieri, Luke Churchill, Craig Churchill, and senior Jason Zalis.

Franklin, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalAfter staking a one-goal lead at halftime, Franklin put away two more in the second to earn an impressive 3-0 decision on the road at Sharon. Sophomore Garrett Scagliarini put the visitors ahead with a goal in the opening half, finishing off an assist from Hansy Jacques. Jacques then got one of his own in the second half to double the Panthers’ advantage, linking up with Andrew O’Neill to make it 2-0. Will Kryzak then recorded an assist for the third straight game, setting up Wyatt Herndon for his first career goal.

Taunton, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – FinalAfter earning points in back-to-back games with a pair of draws, Taunton broke into the win column with a 3-2 decision on the road at Mansfield. Junior Javonte Fernandes had a hand in all three goals for the Tigers, assisting on the opening goal and the game-winner, sandwiched around a goal of his own. Senior Az-Anael St. Marc opened Taunton’s scoring off an assist from Fernandes, who then scored himself off an assist from Conal Scully for the Tigers’ second goal. Fernandes returned the favor, hooking up with Scully for the game-winner. Riley Rebello, Ian Robicheau, Quincy Jones-Sylvia, Xavier Mercardo, and Aidden Fitting all had solid play the entire game for the Tigers while goalie Sebastian Darosa had some key saves throughout the match.

North Attleboro, 2 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalNorth Attleboro scored a pair of second half goals and held off a late push from the hosts to grab two points with a 2-1 win against the Black Knights. Carson Dameron orchestrated the attack with two assists on the day, first setting up Kaden Burns for the opener. Burns took a pass from Dameron and found the far corner to put the Rocketeers ahead 1-0 in the 46th minute. Just over 15 minutes later, a long free kick from Brody Carter was headed by Dameron onto Zach Smahi and he finished for a 2-0 lead. Stoughton scored with just under 10 minutes to go on a free kick goal from Matheus Groberio.

Milford, 3 @ Canton, 2 – FinalCanton came back from a two-goal deficit two pull level with a half hour left in the game, but Milford regained the lead and held on for an important two points on the road at Canton. Andre Baiano smashed a thunderous volley off a pass from Eduardo Santana to give the Hawks the lead, and Nick Ribeiro doubled the advantage with his second free kick goal in as many games. The free kick was earned after some great work from freshman Danny Da Silva. Canton came back and leveled the match with two goals in a seven-minute span. First, freshman Vlad Francoeur squeezed one in past the keeper to cut the deficit in half and Carson Eagles buried a rebound chance from in close to make it 2-2. Milford found the winner with 10 minutes to go as Ribeiro played Santana through and he finished past the keeper to make it 3-2.








Girls Soccer
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalFor the second straight game, Oliver Ames scored once in each half and earned a shutout win. Jolie Diaz opened the scoring for the visitors, intercepting a ball at midfield and going on to convert a breakaway chance, beating the keeper on the near side for a 1-0 lead. OA doubled its lead late in the second half as Emma Gavin volleyed a second chance off a restart with 12 minutes left with the assist going to Sophia Byron. Mary Cross had a great game in the midfield for the Tigers while Janiya Matier made four saves for the shutout.

Canton, 6 @ Milford, 1 – FinalCanton scored three times in the opening 25 minutes of the game to take control and keep its unbeaten start to the season alive. Lauren Shatkin, Emma Cahill, and Emily McCabe each scored in the first half. For McCabe, it was her league-leading 10th goal of the season. Caira McKinney, Gisella Berardi, and Mekhala Costello added second half goals for the Bulldogs, who tried not to let the tempo slip despite being in a busy stretch of the season. Georgia Campbell, Cahill, McCabe, Costello, and Shatkin each had an assist. Dani Atherton scored Milford’s lone goal.

Foxboro, 1 @ King Philip, 4 – FinalThe game was scoreless at the half, but Ella Pisani scored four times after the break to lead King Philip to a big win. Pisani opened the scoring off a corner just a minute into the second half, assisted by an Addisyn Lamothe-Vaughn corner. Four minutes later, Pisani again finished off a corner, this time with Danielle Gresham picking up the assist. She completed her hat trick by finishing off a pass from Ailish McGowen. With 13 minutes to play, Pisani got behind the defense and capped off her night by lifting a shot over the keeper. Makayla Thompson had the assist on the final goal. Erin Foley had the Foxboro goal that cut the lead to 3-1.

Sharon, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – FinalOlivia Costa scored a pair of goals to lift Franklin to a home win that moves the Panthers a half-game ahead in the division. Kelly O’Connor and Tori Carmignani each scored once and each assisted on another goal. Norah Anderson’s header capped the scoring for the Panthers, who also got a pair of assists from Anya Zub and an assist from Katie Ewald. Sharon faced the Kelley-Rex leaders without a pair of starters and struggled to get the attack going against Franklin’s defense. Jordanna Morris and Sally Brouhard both had strong games in defense for the Eagles.

Mansfield, 4 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalMansfield scored four times in the opening half to take home an away win against the Tigers. Freshmen Alexandra and Maddie Fernandes each scored their first varsity goals. Bridget Hanley and Meghan McCann also found the back of the net for Mansfield. Alexis O’Keefe had a pair of assists, while freshmen Lauren Signoriello and Olivia Dunham each had one helper. Olivia Salisbury picked up the clean sheet. Eighth-grader Ashlyn Herbert had another good performance in net for the Tigers, making nine saves. Mia Torres, Jenna Pereira, and Christina Da Costa also played well in the loss.

Stoughton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 1 – FinalSydney O’Connor headed in a Kaitlyn Joyce cross with five minutes to go before halftime and that was enough for North to pull out its first league win of the season.




Volleyball
Sharon, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalFranklin continued to roll against league opponents, this time with an impressive 3-0 sweep (25-14, 25-14, 25-11) of visiting Sharon. Juniors Grace Lacerda and Taylor Lacerda (five aces) paced the offense with 12 kills apiece.

Golf
Attleboro, 156 @ North Attleboro, 143 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s Jake Gaskin had a great day on the links, carding a two-under-par round of 33 that included an eagle, to lead the Rocketeers to a win over rival Attleboro on the middle course at Heather Hill. Gaskin finished with a 33, sinking an eagle putt on the third hole. Tyson Laviano came in one-over at 36 while Dillon Harding, Ishan Kohli, and Zach Corsetti all shot a 37 on the day. Leo Lombardo fired an even par round of 35 to lead the Bombardiers, Ryan hill added a 38, Bradley Lehtonen finished at 41, and Bradley Martin rounded out Attleboro’s scoring with a 42.

Milford, 165 @ Foxboro, 175 – FinalMilford junior Anthony LaPierre continued his strong week, shooting a match medalist round to lead the Scarlet Hawks to victory over the Warriors at Foxboro Country Club. LaPierre was the lone golfer to break 40 on the day, recording a medalist round of 37. Nate Lawrence added a 40 in the win while both Zach Hipolito and Jacob Hipolito shot 44 for the day. Louis Carangelo, who had a birdie, led Foxboro with a 42, Patrick Callahan (three pars) added a 43, and both Zac Georgantas and Reese Curreri came into the clubhouse with a 45.

Franklin, 149 @ Sharon, 172 – Final

Stoughton, 186 @ Canton, 156 – FinalCanton sophomore Huck McCready fired a medalist round of 35 to help the Bulldogs bring down Stoughton at Blue Hill Country Club, snapping a four-match skid. Brendan Tourgee added a 38 in the win, Joey Ryan shot a 41, and both Charlie Vaughan and Teddy Shuman finished at 42 for the day. For Stoughton, Mason Page had a team-low round of 42.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/15/22

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Stoughton, 0 @ Attleboro, 4 – FinalFor the second straight game, Attleboro exploded offensively in the second half to run away with a big win. Alex Vecchioli took down a deflection off a throw from Luke Hagopian and somehow kept possession between a pair of defenders and ripped a shot to the far post to give the Bombardiers a lead right before halftime. In the second half. Vecchioli grabbed his second of the game early in the second half, tracking down a pass from Lucas Marques before cutting it back onto his left for a shot from just outside the box that was tipped by the keeper and in. Late in the second half, Vecchioli linked up with Kyle Neuendorf, who played a perfectly weighted through ball in behind the defense that was smashed home by Billy Badger to make it 3-0. In the final minutes, senior Steve Etienne tracked down a long punt from keeper Tyler Rocchio and hit a low shot into the back of the net from inside the area.

Foxboro, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalFranklin junior Hansy Jacques scored for the third straight game and the Panthers picked up two points in a 3-0 blanking of visiting Foxboro. Junior Michael Fernandez-Martin opened his varsity account, finishing off a pass from sophomore Matt Honekamp to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead. Jacques doubled the lead before halftime after an assist from Will Kryzak. In the second half, Trey Lovell buried a penalty kick to cap off the scoring for the Panthers.

Mansfield, 2 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalAfter a scoreless first half, Mansfield tallied twice inside a 15-minute span in the second half to pick up two key points on the road at North Attleboro. Aidan Lopes set up Tyler Znoj for a blast from 25 yards out to put the Hornets ahead, 1-0, in the 53rd minute. Mansfield doubled the lead in the 65th minute as Aiden Steele’s header off a corner from Dan Checkoway ended up at the feet of Sean Higgins, who dropped in a shot from just outside the box. Liam Doyle recorded his second straight shutout for Mansfield, making six saves. Derek McGrath anchored another strong Mansfield defensive effort with a great individual performance.

Sharon, 1 @ Milford, 1 – FinalEach team converted off a set piece in a 1-1 draw at Milford. Visiting Sharon took the lead in the 18th minute as Adam Eastman buried a free kick from 25 yards out to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Milford pulled level in the 61st minute as Eduardo Santana buried a penalty kick, a call he earned himself, to bring the Scarlet Hawks level. Sharon goalie Matt Baur had a terrific performance in net.

Canton, 2 @ Taunton, 2 – FinalA late goal from Canton helped the Bulldogs pull even and earn a point in a 2-2 draw on the road at Taunton. Carson Eagles scored a late goal to help the Bulldogs erase a one-goal deficit and pull level at 2-2. Jake McCabe scored Canton’s first goal while Taunton’s Javonte Fernandes (first half) and Devin Poe (second half) scored for the Tigers.








Girls Soccer
Attleboro, 1 @ Stoughton, 2 – FinalMorgan Cook’s goal just before halftime proved to be the winner, as Stoughton picked up its first victory of the season and its first under new coach Jon Grant. Shayla Ford opened the scoring in the third minute, running onto a Sabrina Rodrigues through ball behind the Attleboro defense. Jamie Davies leveled the match for the Bombardiers from the penalty spot in the 17th minute. Stoughton regained the lead in the 40th. Emma Byrne played a ball forward to Cook, who was able to get a telling touch on it and find the back of the net. Stoughton was able to limit Attleboro’s chances for a tying goal in the second half with a strong defensive effort. Katrina Varnum finished with 10 saves to help the Black Knights come out on top.

Taunton, 0 @ Canton, 2 – FinalCanton scored late in each half to earn its third win in as many games and move alone into first in the Davenport division. Emily McCabe scored both goals for the Bulldogs, her sixth and seventh of the season, the first assisted by Caira McKinney and the second by Gisella Berardi. While Canton held a sizable (17-4) edge in shots on goal and hit three posts, Taunton continued to fight and remained in the game until the final 90 seconds. Taunton coach Dan Borges praised the play of midfielders Juliana Matos and Emily Calderon for helping the Tigers compete to the end.

Franklin, 2 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final Franklin scored a pair of second half goals to maintain its perfect start to the season and hand Foxboro its first loss. Olivia Costa opened the scoring off a Norah Anderson assist and Costa then provided the assist for Selene Hammad’s goal that wrapped up the points for the Panthers. Franklin keeper Rachel Welch finished with six saves, while Foxboro’s Allie Sougaris made nine stops.

King Philip, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – FinalOliver Ames sophomore Taylor deVos scored a pair of goals to lead the Tigers to a win over visiting King Philip. deVos converted a free kick opportunity in the first half to give the Tigers the lead. King Philip’s goal was scored by Heidi Lawrence, finishing a Rihanna Mason corner five minutes into the second half to bring the game level. Shortly after that, deVos buried another shot, which proved to be the game-winner. Catie Wilson, Rhiya Fisher, and Lucinda Li Cotter all had strong games for OA. Janiya Matier made six saves in net for the Tigers.

North Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalMansfield and North each scored in the opening 20 minutes of the game and split a point apiece. Meghan McCann scored her first varsity goal four minutes into the game, off an assist from freshman Alexandra Fernandes. Emma Pratt equalized for North 15 minutes later, finishing off a corner to make it 1-1.

Milford, 0 @ Sharon, 4 – FinalSofia Goclowski and Autumn Simon each scored a brace to lift Sharon to its second win of the season, already matching its league win total from 2021. Taylor Standring and Jessica Li each recorded assists for the Eagles and Kate Goloboy earned the clean sheet in goal.




Golf
Milford, 151 @ Attleboro, 157 – FinalAfter back-to-back close losses, Milford got back into the win column with its second win over the Bombardiers this season. Junior Anthony LaPierre was the match medalist, firing a low-round of 35 at Stone-E-Lea. Nate Lawrence added a 36 and David Fleming came in with a 39 for the Scarlet Hawks. Carter Shelton paced the Bombardiers with a 38 while Leo Lombardo chipped in with a 39.

North Attleboro, 155 @ Stoughton, 190 – FinalTyson Laviano and Dillon Harding shared medalist honors to pace North Attleboro to a win over Stoughton at Easton Country Club. Laviano and Harding each fired a 38 in the win. Paul Medeiros had a team-low round of 45 for the Black Knights.

Foxboro, 172 @ Franklin, 149 – FinalFranklin junior CJ Steel fired a 35 to lead the Panthers to a win in their home opener at Franklin Country Club over visiting Foxboro. Steel, who had one birdie on the day, earned match medalist honors while Jack Hagerty added a 37, Tyler O’Brien shot a 38, and Brendan Collins finished with a 39. Mat Sullivan had a team-low round of 40 for the Warriors.

Mansfield, 162 @ Canton, 165 – FinalMansfield had a trio of golfers all come in with a 40 to help the Hornets land a rare win for the visiting team at Blue Hill Country Club. Brendan Vokey, Jason Friedman, and Nate McClean each shot 40 in the win while Drew Urban chipped in with a 42. For Canton, Huck McCready earned match medalist honors after carding a 37 on the day. Brian Middleton added a 41, Brendan Tourgee chipped in with a 43, and both Joey Ryan and Teddy Shuman finished with a 44.

Franklin Opens Title Defense With Shutout of OA

Franklin girls soccer
Franklin senior Norah Anderson makes a tackle in the penalty area, denying Oliver Ames a scoring opportunity in the season opener. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


FRANKLIN, Mass. – When Franklin head coach Tom Geysen left practice on Thursday evening, he didn’t know what to expect from his team when it lined up to face Oliver Ames in the season opener. Once things kicked off for real though, the Panthers eased their coach’s fears and welcomed him back to the sidelines with a win.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Franklin scored twice in the opening half and used its typically stout defense to earn a 2-0 victory over a young Tigers team, winning Friday afternoon’s battle of defending league champions at Pisini Field.

“I knew what was going to happen in the second half because that’s how they play and I told these kids ahead of time, they’re going to play long ball, they’re going to push to the wings, and that’s what they did,” said Geysen, who was forced to miss last season because of health issues. “I thought defensively, the kids in the back played really well.”

Despite the loss, OA coach Britt Sellmayer was upbeat about his team’s play, particularly in the second half, and the way it battled against another of the league’s elite.

“Usually after a 2-0 loss I’m not too happy,” he explained, “but the way we played from where we’re starting and where we’re going that was a good game.”

The home team had the game’s first chance after just two minutes when Olivia Costa had a look from the right corner of the box that flashed wide of the far post. Freshman Jolie Davis started brightly for OA on her debut and she had a low cross to Jenna Gilman at the back post cut out by Franklin keeper Rachel Welch.

Franklin started to get its forward line in sync as the first half wore on. Kelly O’Connor tracked back to make a steal in the defensive half and played a one-two with Anya Zub, but after a long run her shot was easily held by OA keeper Janiya Matier.

A minute later, Maddie Horton played a ball out wide to left back Katie Ewald who advanced and found O’Connor on the wing. The sophomore played a ball into the middle where Zub got a toe on it but could only direct it over the bar.

In the 24th minute, Franklin got the breakthrough. Center back Norah Anderson played a long ball over the top of the OA defense. Zub wouldn’t give up on the bouncing ball and her pressure caused some confusion in the back line. The ball ricocheted off the defender and slid past Matier, who was rushing out to collect.

There may have been an element of fortune about Franklin’s opener, but there was nothing lucky about the second goal five minutes later. Tori Carmignani found a little pocket of space on the right side and played a ball to the edge of the box. O’Connor had cut in from the left wing and with her first touch split a pair of OA defenders. Her next touch was a cool finish lifted over the keeper.

“Kelly wanted to keep going left, left, left and I said no, if you go left then you’re going to sit down,” Geysen said. “You go right because that’s where they’re not expecting you to go and and you can use your right foot. Those three kids up in the front will be tough once we get a little more experience together.”

OA nearly halved the deficit right before the whistle. Mary Cross laid a perfect through ball behind the Franklin defense for Davis to run onto. The freshman was clean through on goal but her shot went just wide and left her slamming the turf in frustration.

The Tigers seemed to gather some momentum from that chance and from the move of Taylor deVos into the midfield, as they had a much better second half. OA created a number of set piece opportunities, although Franklin’s defense, especially Anderson, always seemed to be in the right place to clear.

Chances were at a premium after halftime, but Lucinda Li Cotter nearly created a goal for OA by charging down an Anderson clearance in the box. The ball caromed to the far side but Welch was quickly off her line to snag the loose ball at the feet of Gilman.

Three minutes later, deVos created a chance with an interception near midfield. She carried the ball to the edge of the Franklin penalty area before the ball kicked to Cotter on the left side of the box. The OA forward showed quick feet to fashion room for a shot but Horton was able to get across with a crucial block. OA kept pressing and again came close when Cross collected a loose ball and hit the post.

Franklin finished with a flurry. O’Connor connected with Zub, who laid off a pass to freshman Mia Eglintine, but her shot was over the bar from 25 yards out. Seconds later, a turnover led to a chance for Costa at the back post but she couldn’t bundle it home and Zub wasn’t able to get a clean strike on the rebound, which rolled into the grateful arms of Matier.

“The first goal was a sophomore-sophomore conversation in the back, first varsity start for a couple of players, so it happens,” Sellmayer said. “I thought we played a lot better in the second half. They worked hard. I’m pleased.”

Franklin (1-0-0) will host division rival King Philip (1-0-1) on Tuesday. Oliver Ames (0-1-0) will be on the road again on Monday to face Stoughton (0-1-0)

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.