Sophomore Emma Shields scored twice for Franklin and the Lady Rebels captured a 2-0 District 12-AAA victory Tuesday against Summit in a battle of young teams.
Combined, only about a half dozen upperclassmen started Tuesday in Franklin.
“We have eight sophomores that are starting and a freshman, so it’s a lot of youth out there,” Lady Rebels coach Mike Burgoyne said. “We do have some good senior leadership, but we just have a lot of young players.”
Clay Watson had four freshmen starters for Summit.
“This is so promising for our future and just for how we are progressing through this year,” the Lady Spartan second-year coach said after the match. "We are young, but I think we can be a problem for someone come district tournament time."
Both Ravenwood and Brentwood improved to 2-0 in district play Tuesday with wins. Franklin moved a half-game behind Independence for third with the victory.
The Lady Rebels youth dominated possession against Summit.
Shields’ first tally came on a swipe at the top of the box when she put a foot on a ball trying to be controlled by defender Alisa Demorest, which triggered a quick give-and-go with Liva Jensen. Shields fired in the first goal left-footed into the upper right of the goal.
“We were pressing and I just got that foot on the ball and then Liva played me through for a one touch finish,” said the versatile Shields, who moved around constantly playing right and left wing, attacking midfielder and center forward in the match.
Shields said Franklin is growing better team chemistry as the season progresses. The Lady Rebels improved to 4-2-1 and 1-1 in district play.
“I think early in the season being pretty young actually was challenging, but I feel like every game we are growing together more,” Shields said. “We just have to keep improving everyday.”
Franklin had a potential goal waved off because an offsides call following a corner kick in the 36th. The Lady Rebels continued to pressure the Summit defenders in the second half, collecting four shots with two on goal in the first 12 minutes before Summit’s best opportunity of the night unfolded.
Freshman EG Pence tracked down a long ball on the right side of the field in front of a pair of Franklin defenders and lobbed a ball on the move that clanged off the right post.
“We had a couple chances,” Watson said. “We knew we were going to be out-gunned here so we had to play a different style and sink in a little bit, trying to catch them on a counter like that.”
Franklin keeper Charlotte Menke, who has stepped in for Jean Costello as she recovers from a shoulder injury, snagged a ball in the box on the ensuing corner to end the threat.
Shields and the Lady Rebels came up with a goal in the next minute.
“I think we did some things we wouldn’t normally do in the second half and just because we had a lot of time on the ball, we were frustrated a bit,” Burgoyne said. “That’s a credit to them and their keeper especially. She played really well.”
Addie Johnson absorbed pressure all night in goal for the Lady Spartans. Two of her highlight reel saves included diving to stop a hard shot from Margaret DeFranco to end the first half and a similar stop in the 58th when only her fingertips deflected a quick shot leaping for the save after an open Lady Rebel look from Jessie Desantis.
“They pressured us hard and a lot and some of their finishes were great finishes, but I was just trying my best to stop everything I could,” said Johnson, who added back-to-back stops in the 67th. “I think we are continuing to develop great though this season, especially with this young team.”
Franklin returns to the pitch Tuesday at Ravenwood. The Lady Raptors face Brentwood in a battle for the district lead Thursday.
Summit travels to Columbia Central Thursday before facing Centennial next week.
Brentwood 9, Centennial 0
The Lady Bruins stayed unbeaten in District 12-AAA play by cruising past Centennial, jumping out to a 6-0 lead by halftime. Brentwood is 2-0 in league play heading into Thursday's match against rival Ravenwood.
Haley Hannah netted a hat trick, while Emma Majors, Morgan Greene and Olivia Olmstead scored two goals apiece for Brentwood, which will host the Battle of the Woods Thursday.
Majors broke opened the scoring with a tally in the 7th. Greene followed with her first goal five minutes later. Olmstead added another before Greene and Hannah made it 5-0. Maison Wells closed the half with another tally off a ball from Majors in the 35th.
Hannah netted back-to-back goals in the 55th and 62nd with Olmstead's second coming in the 66th to end the lopsided contest.
Ravenwood 1, Independence 0
The Lady Raptors improved to 2-0 in District 12-AAA play with a home win over Indy Tuesday.
Marcela Forero Pretto netted a first-half tally for the Lady Raptors. Nora Henderson earned the assist on the score.
The Lady Eagles moved to 2-1 in district play after shutout wins against Centennial and Summit prior to Tuesday’s match.