LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Franklin women's soccer team headed south for a pivotal Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) match on Wednesday (Oct. 24) night, taking on the Transylvania Pioneers.
Two late first half goals from Transylvania (12-4-2, 5-2-1 HCAC) proved to be just enough offense to hold off the Grizzlies (8-8-1, 5-3 HCAC) on Wednesday night, as the Pioneers earned a 2-1 win on their home turf. Maddie Fleet score early in the second half for the Grizzlies, but Franklin was unable to find the tying marker down the stretch.
Both goalkeepers stole the show early, with Franklin's Lexi Short and Transy's Morgan Patton trading three stops each in the opening 15 minutes. Short stopped each of the first five shots on goal, but the Pioneers would break through with two goals just 2:10 apart late in the period to take a 2-0 lead into the intermission.
Short made to huge stops right at the start of the second half to keep the deficit at a pair. Fleet would bring the Grizzlies within a goal in the 57th minute, taking a Rachel Hawkins pass and stuffing a shot into the net for her 22nd goal of the year. Jalynn Gorman nearly tied the game six minutes later, but was stymied by Patton.
Fleet and Taylor McDaniel each had scoring bids in the final 10 minutes, but each time they were turned away in goal by Patton. McDaniel's attempt was the Grizzlies' final attempt at knotting things up, coming with 2:44 left on the clock.
Shots were 22-16 in favor of the Pioneers with shots on goal 11-6 in the host's favor. Fleet led Franklin with six shots and three shots on goal while Gorman, Hawkins and Jessie Hearne each finished with multiple shot attempts. In goal, Short was brilliant for the Grizzlies with nine saves on the night.
Franklin heads into their final match of the regular season tied with Rose-Hulman for the fourth and final spot in the HCAC Tournament. Standing in the Grizzlies' way on Saturday is the number two-ranked team in the league in the Mount St. Joseph Lions. Kick-off at Faught Stadium on Saturday is set for 1:00 p.m.