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Franklin's late goal ties Eastern Tech, 2-2


Franklin's girls soccer players could not help thinking they had let a golden opportunity slip away yesterday as the No. 11 Indians settled for a 2-2 double-overtime tie with No. 12 Eastern Tech.

The Indians outshot Eastern Tech 18-7 in regulation but found themselves trailing for more than half of the game. Ashley Harris scored both Franklin goals, the second with two minutes left in regulation.

"I don't think this was a good tie," said Indians goalie Aly Josephs. "We should have won that game, but that's the luck of the draw. We had a lot of shots that didn't go our way."

Harris' goals answered a pair from Britney Thomas, who gave the Mavericks a 2-1 lead in the 67th minute. In the 78th minute, however, a loose ball bounced toward Harris near the goal line. She tapped it between Eastern goalie Kaitlin Hassell and the right post to pull the Indians (3-1-2) even.

Although the Mavericks (6-1-1) came within a few minutes of winning, coach Brett Smith still felt fortunate to escape the Indians' new stadium with a tie.

"Of all the teams I've played, this is the best team," said Smith, whose Mavericks dropped a 1-0 contest to defending county champ and No. 4 Perry Hall two weeks ago. "[Franklin's] teamwork, their one-, two-touch passing were outstanding. They're a very skilled team. And one thing we had trouble with the whole game - speed. They had speed everywhere."

But the Mavericks' Britney Thomas also had speed and she used it - in two different ways - to give Eastern Tech the lead for 52 minutes of the game.

Her second goal built a 2-1 edge in the 67th minute. Showing terrific touch, the sophomore midfielder dodged three defenders and left-footed a shot by Josephs into the right corner.

In the first half, Thomas used a different kind of speed to catch Franklin off guard, scoring on a restart before the Indians knew what had happened.

"She caught the whole team off guard," said Josephs, who drew a hand-ball call after running several yards out of the penalty area before punting. The error gave the Mavericks a 17th-minute restart from 20 yards.

"Half the team had our backs to the ball. We turned around, and it was like, 'Where's the ball?' It was a great play on her part just to restart right away, and it was an excellent shot."

That 1-0 lead held up until midway through the second half, when Franklin back Kendall Thrift chipped a perfect ball over the front line and into the box. Hassell, who made 13 saves, came out to meet Harris and Martha Mitchell, but the ball bounced behind her. From the right side, Mitchell shot toward the middle of the open net where Harris, unmarked, made sure it went in.

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