FRANKLIN, Ind. – An old rivalry was renewed on Wednesday (Oct. 9) night when the Franklin men's soccer team hosted Hanover College at Faught Stadium.
The Grizzlies (3-10, 0-2 HCAC) and Panthers (4-5-1, 1-1 HCAC) engaged in a spirited contest that saw a trio of lead changes on the night. But two Hanover goals in succession proved to be the deciding factor as the Panthers escaped with a 3-2 win.
Hanover struck first when an initial shot hit the post and went right onto the foot of Luke Eppler, who made no mistake on the rebound for the first goal. Franklin got the goal back in the 36th minute, taking advantage of a fortunate bounce of their own. A Hanover clearing attempt went awry and the ball ended up on Mason May's foot with a clear shooting lane. The senior forward made no mistake with a volley from 35 yards out that cleared Hanover's goalkeeper and resulted in his third goal of the year.
The two sides started the second half locked in a draw, but Franklin claimed their first lead of the night when a Hanover foul in their own 18-yard box resulted in a penalty shot for the Grizzlies. Jordan Thomas made no mistake on the free attempt, sticking home his fourth goal of the year in the 52nd minute.
Following the PK goal, the Panthers turned up the pressure on offense with 12 shots the rest of the way. That pressure paid off with goals in the 62nd and 73rd minutes, respectively, while the Panthers' possession-dominant half allowed them to hang on for victory.
Elliott Clark made six saves for the Grizzlies in goal while Thomas led all FC attackers with three shots and three shots on target.
The Grizzlies are back at it on Saturday (Oct. 12) night, hosting Bluffton in the final game of a busy homecoming Saturday. Kick-off between the Grizzlies and Beavers is set for approximately 8:30 p.m.