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RECAP | Late Goals Sink Grizzlies in Season Opener

Senior goalkeeper Garrett Belden (photo courtesy of Zoie Richey)
Senior goalkeeper Garrett Belden (photo courtesy of Zoie Richey)

Final: Franklin 2 – Wabash 3 (OT)
Records: Franklin 0-1 | Wabash 1-0
Location: Faught Stadium – Franklin, Ind.

FRANKLIN – Playing their season opener in front of a rain-soaked crowd at Faught Stadium, the Franklin men's soccer team dropped a heartbreaker to Wabash College on Friday night by a score of 3-2.

Down by a goal with less than two minutes to play, the Little Giants rallied for a late equalizer and spoiled the coaching debut of Cody Graman by completing the comeback win in extra time.

The Grizzlies came out firing, scoring on each of their first two shots on goal. The first came just 4:55 into the game when Sam Stallsmith found a streaking Mason May with a beautiful through pass and the sophomore made no mistake in tight, depositing the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the cage.

Wabash evened things up on a Stojan Krsteski goal in the 14th minute, but the Griz answered less than two minutes later when Matt Powell headed home a Luke Oliver corner kick to put Franklin back in front.

The Griz put the clamps down throughout the rest of the first half, not giving the Little Giants any clean looks at the goal. FC took a 2-1 lead into the break, outshooting Wabash 9-4 in the opening half.

After the break, the field tilted in favor of the Little Giants as Wabash pressured the Franklin defense throughout the rest of the match. Franklin goalkeeper Garrett Belden made two clutch stops in close to keep the Griz in front, stopping Mohamed Ndour in the 60th minute and Brayden Lee in the 86th minute.

But the dam finally broke in the 88th minute when Cory Sims headed a ball up and over Belden's hands to even up the game. In extra time, Krsteski finished off a centering pass in the 99th minute for the game-winner.

Shots were 19-9 in favor of the Little Giants as Wabash held the Griz without an attempt after halftime. Belden turned aside eight shots in goal for the Griz while David Daugherty stopped one shot at the other end of the field.

Franklin looks to rebound on Sunday, Sept. 3 when they take on Illinois College at Faught Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon.