Franklin boys’ soccer coach Ian Reid has been working his team with short-corners for most of the 2010 season, and it was a perfectly placed strike off the short-corner that put the Indians over the Dulaney Lions, 1-0, Wednesday.
Nearly 10 minutes into the first half, with a pass back from Indians’ senior teammate Alexander Clements, junior Michael Cronauer laced a shot with his left foot, bending it over the Dulaney defenders and into an unreachable section of the net to score the only goal of Wednesday’s game.
“They only set one man,” Cronauer explained. “We played it back and it was wide, wide open at the far post, and I snuck it in.”
Cronauer’s shot was nearly an assist with sophomore forward Ryan Silcott attacking the far post, but the long-range strike sailed over the sliding teammate and settled in the corner of the net for the 1-0 score.
“They played tremendous,” Reid said of his players after the game. “I told them at halftime that they were playing like men, and I told them afterwards that they did the exact same thing.
“We knew it was going to be very physical today, and they really stepped up.”
The physicality of the game lead to two terrific defensive performances, but also one that seemed to work the Franklin defense just a bit more than Dulaney’s.
The Lions put forth six shots in the first half, out-shooting the Indians by just two shots, but the added pressure in the second half found Dulaney to put 10 more shots on the Franklin goal, as opposed to the two shots from its foe.
“Our coach preaches team defense, so we were running for each other and man-to-man marking was definitely a factor on that,” said senior Michael Skaro, who also proved to be a scoring threat with his abilities on free kicks. “They had some pretty high forwards, so that’s how we dealt with their pressure.”
One defensive stand that saved the game from nearly going into overtime was a second-half stop by Franklin’s junior Zachary Decarlo, who covered his out-placed goalie by heading away a shot that was destined for the back of the net.
“They just had a far cross, and I always take that far post just in case,” Decarlo said. “I thought it was going to go out, but just to be sure I jumped up and apparently got high enough to save it out.”
That was the story of the day for the Lions who saw a number of scoring oppostunites thought out the game only to be denied by the Indian defense.
“We had a couple ideal chances at the goal, both early and late, and we need to emphasize finishing and confidence,” Dulaney head coach Jerry Tana said. “Obviously, with senior day, it is a bit heartbreaking.
“I thought we played well enough to win, but we had a hard time putting the ball in the net and you have to score to win in soccer.”
With the win, the Franklin Indians have put themselves in solid standing for a Baltimore County Division 1 Title, but will have to continue to play well in order to do so.
“I told them after the game that this could define [there] season,” Reid said. “We have a huge game now with [No. 16] Catonsville on Friday night, and we need to win that one to make this one count.”
“We have four away games starting next week,” said Tana, whose Lions will trave to Towson, Monday. “With three tough league games, we will see what we are made of. We are still a quality team, and we will be back.”
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Franklin 1, Dulaney 0
F- 1 0 — 1
D- 0 0 — 0
Goals: F- Cronauer
Assists: F- Clements
Saves: F- Schuman 5; D-Deuber 1