CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. – The Franklin College men's soccer team kicked off the 2018 campaign on Friday evening, taking on in-state and in-region rival Wabash College in a rematch of their 2017 opener.
Both teams put on a clinic defensively, with scoring opportunities at a premium for 90 minutes of action. But the host Little Giants (1-0) capitalized once in each half to send the Grizzlies (0-1) home with a 2-0 defeat.
After snuffing out the Giants' first quality scoring chance of the night in the 17th minute, Franklin answered with their first quality chance of the night in the 19th minute when Jordan Thomas put one on target that was stopped by Wabash keeper Chad Wunderlich. The Grizzlies had another chance one minute later, but a set play off a Luke Oliver corner kick was stymied by the hosts.
In the 26th minute, the Little Giants opened the scoring on a set play of their own, as Michael Tanchevski headed home a corner kick to break the scoreless tie. Four minutes later, the Grizzlies had another look at a corner kick, but Andrew Vidal's cross was defended well by the Wabash defense, resulting in no shot attempt.
Wabash added to their lead in the 64th minute with a Timothy Herring goal. The rest of the game was controlled by the hosts, as Franklin was unable to find the shot chart in the second half.
Freshman goalkeeper Jake Hendricks (0-1) stopped one shot in his collegiate debut for the Grizzlies, a number matched by Wunderlich (1-0) at the other end. Shot attempts were 15-1 in favor of Wabash, with the hosts also holding a 7-2 edge in corner kicks taken.
Franklin looks to get in the win column on Tuesday (Sept. 4) night, when they welcome Spalding University to town for the 2018 home opener. Kick off from Faught Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.