FRANKLIN, Ind. – Playing in front of their home fans for the final time in the regular season, the Franklin women's soccer team ensured themselves of at least one match past this weekend when they knocked off the Transylvania Pioneers to lock up a spot in next week's conference tournament.
The Grizzlies (6-11-1, 6-2 HCAC) dominated the Pioneers (5-9-3, 3-3-2 HCAC) from start to finish, out-shooting their guests 25-4 to win 2-0. Freshmen Elaina Page and Lilly Haines found the back of the net for the Grizzlies, who are bound for post-season soccer after a one-year absence.
Franklin generated all kinds of pressure in the opening half, but thanks to some stellar goalkeeping from Transy netminder Morgan Patton and a few fortuitous bounces, the game remained scoreless with time winding down in the first half. But with under 30 seconds to go in the half, freshman defender Dianna Rollag lined up for a free kick that took one hop off the Faught Stadium turf and found the head of Page, who made no mistake in heading the ball home with 10 seconds to go before the break.
The Grizzlies kept the pressure on in the second half, generating three quality scoring chances for Jalynn Gorman, Taylor McDaniel and Jessie Hearne but ultimately coming up empty. But with 15 minutes to go in the game, the Grizzlies added to the lead when Haines stuck home a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box.
The Franklin defense took over the rest of the way, holding Transylvania without a shot attempt the rest of the night. Lexi Short earned her seventh shutout of the year and 24th clean sheet of her career, needing to make just one save on the night.
Franklin hits the road for their regular season finale on Saturday (Nov. 2) afternoon, when they head to Cincinnati, Ohio to take on the Mount St. Joseph Lions. A Franklin win or a tie between the two teams would secure the three-seed in the conference tournament. Kick-off is set for 5:00 p.m.