EATON — In a physical game that came down to goalkeeping, Eaton was outlasted by Franklin as the Wildcats pulled out a 2-0 victory on the Eagles home turf on Thursday, Sept. 10.
Franklin scored the opening goal at 21:01 in the first half as a Wildcat forward snuck past Eaton’s defense and fired the ball into the middle of the net.
From there, the scoring slowed but the shots on goal and general aggressiveness did not.
Eaton and Franklin players were consistently getting tangled up, shoving each other and moving intensely towards each loose ball.
“We kind of were struck by it at first,” Eaton coach Michael Bacher said of Franklin’s physicality. “We had told them that the typical game against Franklin gets to be a physical game, so we told them to prepare for it and just try to match their physicality. For the first 20 minutes, it took them a second to get adjusted to it but I think after that they did a good job.”
The two teams continued to pepper shots towards each other’s goals, most going past the goal, but Eaton senior goalkeeper Bella Hurd was kept busy and made numerous saves throughout the evening.
Despite the aggressive nature of the game and the constant barrage on Franklin’s goal, Eaton was never able to find the back of the net on Thursday.
“That’s been the problem with us most games this year,” Bacher said. “We’re starting to possess the ball a little bit for about 60 yards, but it’s the final 30 that we’re just not creative enough.”
Eaton’s best scoring opportunity came on a corner kick in the second half, but the shot curved directly into the hands of Franklin’s goalkeeper.
After the miss, the Wildcats snuffed out any hope of a comeback with an insurance goal at 2:30 in the second half to make it 2-0.
With the loss to Franklin, the Eagles fell to 1-6 on the season, their only win coming against Tri-County North on Sept. 8.
As Coach Bacher and the Eagles look towards the second half of the season, he said they just have to keep doing what they’ve been doing.
“Keep doing what we’re doing, possessing the soccer ball, and I think good chances are gonna come forward,” he said. “We’re gonna get more scoring opportunities and with more scoring opportunities, we’re gonna start finding the back of the net.”
Bacher also said that the Eagles are currently missing some girls due to injury, including starting junior striker Rylee Ruebush, that he hopes to have back for Eaton’s next game against Valley View.
“I think she’ll mix in well and I think the scoring opportunities will come,” Bacher said. “I think good things are on the horizon for us.
The Eagles played at Valley View on Tuesday, Sept. 15 and will take the field at Preble Shawnee on Thursday, Sept. 17.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles