EATON — The Eaton boys soccer team used experience and speed to earn a 6-2 victory against the Franklin Wildcats in a home game on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
The win puts Eaton in third place in the Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division with a 6-5 record. The team is 8-6 overall.
The Eagles scored the first goal three minutes into the match, as James Howard tapped the ball into the corner of the Wildcats net on an assist from his older brother Daniel.
Eaton nearly gave up an empty net goal soon afterward, as goalkeeper Todd Piekutowski fell down trying to pick up a loose ball, but the ball was cleared out in time. Eaton attempted several shots later, but failed to score until midway into the first half, when Owen Baumann scored a goal, assisted by James Howard, to increase the lead to 2-0.
With five minutes left in the half, Christofer Hudgel scored for the Eagles off a corner kick from James Howard for the final goal of the first half to give his team a 3-0 lead.
Eighteen seconds into the second half, James Howard scored a goal on a breakaway making the score 4-0. He added another goal 10 minutes later to increase the lead to 5-0.
At the 26:05 mark, Franklin received a penalty kick opportunity which slipped past Piekutowski, giving the Wildcats their first goal of the game.
Unfazed, Eaton poured on the pressure, with John Altom scoring a goal on a corner toss-in with less than 20 minutes left in the game. But, with only five seconds left before the final buzzer, Franklin managed a goal to finalize the score, 6-2.
Eaton outshot Franklin 18 to seven. Piekutowski had three saves on the night from his goalkeeper position.
“We should never give up a goal with only five seconds to go,” said a disappointed Eaton coach Matt Money. “That is a blemish on the game for us. There were moments where we put something from yesterday’s practice into our game plan, and some of those changes worked tonight. That’s what we are going to have to do for the rest of the season. But I’m not happy with that last goal. You can’t shut off the engine with time left in the game. That final goal really made Franklin’s night.”
The game was also Senior Night for Dan Howard, Coleman Manning, Piekutowski, and Brandon Mohamed.
“It was a good win for the seniors though — this is Seniors Night, and a win is a win,” Money said. “It’s been a long time since Eaton has had eight wins in a season, and we are looking for a few more wins. We had goals from several different players tonight, but the Howard brothers have been great for us, as they have been for us all season long.
“It takes a team effort, and we were able to find the back of the net six times,” Money added. “We are a little banged up, and we need to get healthy real quick. Bellbrook is coming to town and with us having beaten them earlier in the season for the first time ever, they are going to come in for revenge.”
The final game of the regular season against Bellbrook was scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 13. Eaton will participate in the Division II Dayton 1 Sectional Tournament on Monday, Oct. 17, against Oakwood.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH