Final: Franklin 2 – DePauw 1
Records: Franklin 2-3 | DePauw 1-5
Location: Faught Stadium – Franklin, Ind.
FRANKLIN – After a two-week stretch away from their home field, the Franklin College women's soccer team hit the Faught Stadium pitch on Tuesday night for a showdown with in-state rival DePauw University.
The Grizzlies (2-3) played a strong defensive contest for 90 minutes, keeping the Tigers' (1-5) chances at a minimum all night. After a slow start offensively, Franklin was able to generate some quality chances late in the first half before the dam broke early in the second half.
"We knew that eventually we were going to score tonight," Fleet noted after the game. "We talked at half that we started a little sluggish but we started to wear them down as the first half went on. We were hard on the ball early in the second half and it paid off with a couple of goals."
Chances favored the Tigers in the early going, but Franklin was able to keep all of those chances out wide. The Grizzlies found their footing midway through the first half and were able to generate a pair of quality chances before the break. Shots were 8-7 in favor of the Tigers at the break, but the teams went into the break locked in a scoreless tie.
Less than three minutes into the second half, Fleet broke the scoreless drought. Clare Lenart lobbed a cross in from the right wing that landed where only Fleet could get a head on it and the junior striker hammered it home.
DePauw nearly evened things up in the 61st minute when an Alex Wendt shot hit a Franklin defender and rang off the far post. Less than three minutes later, the Grizzlies were up by a pair as Fleet streaked in with the ball down the left win. DePauw goalkeeper Mia Manney went to play the ball, giving Fleet time to slide it over to Nakaguchi, who buried one into an open cage.
From there, the Grizzly defense held the Tigers in check. DePauw got their lone goal with 30 seconds to go on a header Jillian Snow, but it was too little, too late for the Tigers.
Lexi Short turned aside five shots for Franklin, giving her 38 stops in five games. Manney made two stops at the other end for the Tigers.
Franklin looks to make it two straight wins on Friday night, when they welcome Westminster College (Mo.) to Faught Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.