EATON — The Eagles dominated possession and shots on goal as they took down the Franklin Wildcats 3-0 in a rainy and windy affair on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Eaton sophomore William Guzman got the scoring started in the first half with a goal at 25:06 that tipped off of the hands of Franklin’s goalkeeper and found the net.
No more than a couple of minutes were spent in Eaton’s territory as the Wildcats simply couldn’t move the ball, resulting in Eaton playing almost the entire first half on Franklin’s side of the field.
The Wildcats did not record a single shot on goal in the first half, with Eaton coach Matt Money speculating that Eaton’s goalkeeper did not touch the ball more than three times during the entire game.
Eaton junior Brady Cooper added another goal for the Eagles at 4:40, shooting from the right corner of the penalty box and sneaking it past the inside of Franklin’s goalkeeper for the 2-0 lead.
Just minutes later, a Franklin player earned a yellow card inside the box, resulting in a penalty kick by Eaton senior Caleb Caplinger. The kick was successful, going over Franklin’s goalkeeper into the left corner, to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead going into the half.
Franklin ended the game with three yellow cards handed out.
“I told them, ‘We don’t need any candy – yellow or red, tonight or any game,’” Money said of the physicality in the game. “Just walk away. First half, we had a [Franklin] kid standing over one of our players, and he just walked away, and that’s exactly what I told him. Our kids are disciplined. We preach that.”
The second half was more of the same for both teams with Eaton continuing to push in Franklin’s territory, though the Eagles never found the net again, settling for the 3-0 win after 40 more minutes of play.
“It would have been nice to maybe score one or two more, but we were very creative tonight,” Money said. “You know, it’s kind of a confidence booster. Franklin is having their tough times right now. I told them, ‘You’re expected to win this game, now go out there and win it.’ We dominated.”
Along with possessing the ball for the majority of the game, the Eagles had a strong performance passing the ball, which Money said led to both non-penalty kick goals.
“We were changing the point of attack. Our outside backs were getting forward,” he said. “We were gapping them, we were playing diagonal balls, and just getting creative opportunities at goal. We scored one goal over the top because it was on, but our other two goals were manufactured with three or four passes.”
Eaton started the season with four consecutive losses to Bethel, Oakwood, Monroe and Bellbrook, but responded with a four-game winning streak over Tri-County North, Franklin, Valley View and Preble Shawnee.
After the win over Franklin and a 3-1 win at Valley View on Thursday, Oct. 1, the Eagles sit at 6-6 on the season with a 4-5 record in the SWBL.
“We played the three best – I mean, really tough teams the second, third, and fourth game [of the season],” Money said. “We’re much improved, and we’ve just got to keep moving forward and stay healthy. See what happens.”
The Eagles took on Milton-Union on Tuesday, Oct. 6 and will face Brookville at home on Thursday, Oct. 8. Their season will close with two games on the road, one against Oakwood on Tuesday, Oct. 13 and at Monroe on Thursday, Oct. 15.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles