Final: Franklin 0 – Defiance 2
Records: Franklin 1-8, 0-1 HCAC | Defiance 5-3-2, 1-0 HCAC
Location: Justin F. Coressel Stadium, Defiance, Ohio
By: Luke Peduto
DEFIANCE, Ohio – The Franklin College men's soccer opened up Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play on Saturday, taking on the Defiance Yellow Jackets in search of their second straight win.
The Grizzlies came out strong and stayed stride for stride with the Yellow Jackets, but a late first half goal from Defiance and an insurance tally early in the second half proved to be too much to overcome as the Grizzlies suffered a 2-0 defeat.
The teams had good looks at the cage in the opening 10 minutes but couldn't find the back of the net. Franklin's two best chances of the half came in the 31st and 39th minutes, but both Jordan Thomas and Mason May's shots on goal were turned aside.
Not long after May's chance was stopped, the Yellow Jackets grabbed the lead when Christian Meister hammered a Liam Hall pass past Garrett Belden for the ice-breaker.
In the second half the Yellow Jackets put the game out of reach with a goal in the 56th minute from Hall. Down by a pair, the Grizzlies' attack pinned the Yellow Jackets in their own zone for the majority of the second half. Franklin would put six shots on goal the rest of the way as they looked make up the deficit, but each time they were turned aside by Defiance's Clay Musgrave.
The final shot count was 17-14 in favor of the Yellow Jackets and Defiance held a slim 11-10 edge in shots on goal. May led all Franklin attackers with four shot attempts and Luke Oliver put three shots on goal as his five-game point streak came to an end.
In goal, Garrett Belden turned aside seven shots while Franklin was credited with a pair of team saves. At the other end, Musgrave made seven saves en route to the clean sheet.
The Grizzlies look to bounce back at home against conference rival Hanover this coming Wednesday (Oct. 4). The Grizzlies and Panthers will do battle at Faught Stadium with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.