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RECAP | Thomas' Second Half Goal Helps Women's Soccer Knock Off MSJ, Earn Third-Seed in HCAC Tourney

Erin Thomas (26). Photo: Quinn Fitzgerald
Erin Thomas (26). Photo: Quinn Fitzgerald

CINCINNATI, Ohio – Three days after securing a spot in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Tournament, the Franklin women's soccer team locked down the three-seed with a 1-0 win over the Mount St. Joseph Lions in the regular season finale.

The Grizzlies (7-11-1, 7-2 HCAC) capped a topsy-turvy regular season with their third straight win and sixth win in their last seven games with each victory coming via shutout.

Franklin had to withstand a Mount St. Joseph swarm in the opening half with shots 8-1 in the Lions' favor through 45 minutes of play. But each of the six Lion shot attempts on goal were turned aside by Franklin goalkeeper Lexi Short, who refused to concede a goal and break a shutout streak that surpassed 200 minutes on Saturday.

The Grizzlies were able to slow down the MSJ attack early in the second half and in the 65th minute, Franklin got the game's ice-breaker. Erin Thomas broke up a passing exchange in MSJ territory and split two defenders before rifling a shot with her left foot into the top left corner of the cage for her second goal of the season.

Following the goal, the Grizzly defense took over, limiting the Lions' to just one shot on goal over the final 25 minutes of action. Short finished the night with eight saves, giving her eight shutouts on the year and 26 clean sheets for her career.

The Grizzlies will meet second-seeded Hanover in the HCAC semifinals on Wednesday (Nov. 6). Hanover took the first meeting of the year between the two, besting the Grizzlies 2-1 in overtime back on Oct. 9. A start time will be announced in the coming days.