Final: Franklin 8 – MacMurray 0
Records: Franklin 1-7 | MacMurray 0-8-1
Location: Faught Stadium – Franklin, Ind.
FRANKLIN – For the first time in three weeks, the Franklin College men's soccer team stepped onto their home turf for a Sunday afternoon showdown with the MacMurray College Highlanders.
A little home cooking proved to be just what the Grizzlies needed to earn their first win of the year. Franklin dominated from the opening kick, scoring early in the game and a whopping seven times in the second half on their way to an emphatic 8-0 win.
Mason May and Jordan Thomas scored two goal apiece for the Grizzlies as six different players found the back of the net on Sunday. Sam Stallsmith had his first career multi-assist game and the milestones kept on coming as the win marked the first for head coach Cody Graman as the program's bench boss.
The Grizzlies wasted no time generating high-quality chances, with Luke Oliver and Tyler Majeski just missing the target in the opening eight minutes. The Grizzlies found the back of the net in the 15th minute, when Matt Powell sent a long free kick into the box that Mason Krupa headed into the bottom right hand corner for his first goal of the year.
Franklin kept the pressure on for the rest of the half, out-shooting the Highlanders 15-0 in the opening 45 minutes and taking a 1-0 lead into the break.
The dam broke early in the second half and a wave of goals followed for the Grizzlies. The first came less than three minutes into the half when Cody Coppess took a corner kick from Oliver and hammered one in from 20 yards out for his first goal of the year. Thomas followed with goals in the 54th and 59th minutes to stretch the lead to 4-0.
May potted his two goals three minutes apart while Oliver and Jacob Thompson would also find the back of the net. When the final horn sounded, the Grizzlies had their first non-conference win since Sept. 18, 2015.
Oliver led all players with nine shot attempts and six shots on goal. The junior midfielder also extended his points streak to five games with a goal and a helper. Shots were 30-0 in favor of the Grizzlies, giving Franklin goalkeeper Garrett Belden an easy path to his third career clean sheet.
With the non-conference schedule behind them, the Grizzlies will have six days to prepare for their 2017 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) opener. Franklin opens conference play on Saturday, Sept. 30 at Defiance. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.