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High School Soccer

Soccer: Franklin tops Lady Raptors, captures regular season district crown

Brentwood stops Indy; Centennial clips Summit in other District 12-AAA play

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Soccer – Ravenwood at Franklin .

Franklin's Margaret DeFranco and Megan Wroblewski celebrate DeFranco's goal in a 2-1 District 12-AAA win over Ravenwood Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 at Franklin High School. 

See IMAGES for full photo gallery. 

From getting pumped up in the locker room to staying focused in warmups and opening with a bang, the Franklin High School girls soccer team was all business Thursday night. 

The result: the regular season District 12-AAA championship and the league’s automatic bid to the Region 6-AAA tournament.

The Lady Admirals recorded a 2-1 win against defending Class AAA champion Ravenwood to stay unbeaten in district. Paired with Brentwood’s 4-1 win over Independence, Franklin sits alone atop the district standings as the only team without a loss. 

“This feels awesome,” said Emma Shields, who helped lead the Lady Admirals to 12 shots on goal. “Our synergy was just amazing … We really connected well this game and I think that was the difference. 

“Before the game we all just tried to get in the right mindset and we wanted to come out of the gates just blazing.” 

Franklin fired three shots on goal in a wild sequence in just the fourth minute. Megan Wroblewski triggered the barrage with a shot that was deflected by Ravenwood keeper Kendal Curran. Yukino Wakatsuki collected the rebound, but slammed her shot off the left post before Margaret DeFranco let loose a right-footed attempt that sailed just high. 

“That’s the start we wanted,” Lady Admirals coach Mike Burgoyne said. “We wanted to pressure early. 

“Again, we are just happy to be playing because at any moment, this season could be over with so much going on. These girls really stayed focused all match tonight and showed how much they wanted it.” 

Avery Brown connected on a nifty corner kick in the fifth minute when her kick curved into the back of the goal from the right side to open the scoring for the home team. 

The defending champs, who clipped the Lady Admirals 4-1 last season and 2-1 in 2018, answered promptly when Marcela Forero Pretto gathered an Anna Major pass and lofted a long ball into goal in the 10th for the early equalizer. 

After the quick flurry on both ends, Shields sent a ball across the front of the goal from left to right that was brushed by Wroblewski and ended up in front of DeFranco, who buried a shot in the upper left of the goal for the 2-1 advantage in the 30th all on the heels of a Shields corner. 

“This really was our best game all season so far,” Franklin’s Brenna Swiger said. “We were just waiting for a game like this where we could all connect with each other and be able to create opportunities. It just really worked out there for us.” 

Ravenwood managed five shots, including three on goal in the second half, and had two corners to Franklin’s none, but couldn’t find another equalizer. Swiger won two foot races with the Lady Raptors strikers in the final 10 minutes to thwart a pair of opportunities.

Ravenwood's best shots came when Anna Major fired high in the 47th and after a late corner, Sarah Kate Rath’s long shot in the 77th that was gobbled up by Franklin keeper Matty Taylor.

“Since we lost twice to them in the last two years, this is a great feeling,” said Shields, who added an attempt late in the first half that also hit a post. “If the season ends right now, I think we could be happy as a team.” 

Franklin, which improved to 9-1-1 overall and 4-0 in district, travels to Independence next week, but thanks to wins over Brentwood, Summit, Centennial and now Ravenwood, even a loss wouldn’t affect the Lady Admirals district lead. Indy needed to beat the Lady Bruins Thursday for a shot at the regular season title. 

Brentwood 4, Independence 1

The Lady Bruins struck fast Thursday at home against Indy in another crucial District 12-AAA contest. 

Emma Majors scored just over a minute into the match and Hayley Howard made it 2-0 Brentwood in the fifth as the Lady Bruins found an early groove playing in just their second match at full strength in weeks. 

Independence’s Natalie Russell notched a tally in the 11th for the visitors, but Howard struck again in the 31st to give Brentwood the two-goal cushion at the half. The Lady Bruins defense held strong in the second half and Majors scored again on a cross from Maison Wells in the final minute for the exclamation point on the win. 

Brentwood was coming off a 3-1 district loss at Centennial last week and improved to 1-2 in the league. Indy moved to 2-1-1 in the district. 

Centennial 2, Summit 1 

The Lady Cougars squared their District 12-AAA mark at 2-2 with a win at home Thursday night. 

Jenna Drobny netted both goals for Centennial scoring in the sixth and the 38th. 

Centennial closes district play next week against Ravenwood.

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