MEQUAN, Wis. – Powered by a break-out performance from junior Jalynn Gorman and some late-game heroics from senior Maddie Fleet, the Franklin women's soccer team opened their season with a thrilling 5-4 victory of Concordia (Wis.) on Saturday (Sept. 1) afternoon.
Gorman went wild for the Grizzlies, scoring four goals and adding an assist to drive the Franklin offense. It was the first career multi-goal game for the Clayton, Ind.-native, and it matches her career high for goals in a season in just one game.
The junior striker wasted little time getting Franklin on the board, banging home her first goal on a rebound shot in the 16th minute of play. In the 32nd minute, Gorman would strike again when she finished off a crossing feed from Fleet, sticking the ball in the lower-left corner to give the Grizzlies a 2-0 lead.
But the hosts would pot two goals of their own before the half and add two more 1:37 apart early in the second half to take a 4-2 advantage. The score would hold until 68th minute, when Gorman struck again to complete the hat trick and cut the deficit to one. Three minutes later, Gorman would net the tying marker on a goal in tight for the first four-goal game by a Grizzly since Fleet netted four against Bluffton on Oct. 7, 2017.
The comeback was completed in the 81st minute, when Fleet took a touch from Gorman and ripped a shot past Concordia keeper Kaeley Sterkel to put Franklin in front. But the drama wasn't over yet, as Concordia had one last chance to tie things up with a penalty kick off a red card. But it wasn't to be, as Ashley Johnson's shot rang off the post.
Shots were 16-15 in favor of the Falcons with Gorman taking a game-high seven shots for the visiting side. Junior Lexi Short turned aside five shots to pick up the win for Franklin, while Sterkel stopped six shots at the other end.
Franklin continues their season-opening five-match road trip next Friday (Sept. 7) night, heading to St. Louis, Mo. to take on Fontbonne University. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. eastern time.