Franklin scores weekend split
Red Alert struck the men’s soccer team Friday night, but the eager fans could not prevent a tough shutout loss to Trinity.
The Bears fell 5-0 to third-ranked Trinity University but snuck one shot by Southwestern University to win 1-0 in the 2003 Washington University Classic at Francis Field this weekend.
“It was disappointing for these guys to lose in front of a big crowd, and they know that they were much closer than five goals to Trinity,” head coach Joe Clarke said after the loss. “They also know we can get much better than we are.”
“It should not have been a 5-0 game, but there were still many, many positives,”continued Clarke.
For much of the first half, the Bears were hanging with the Tigers, who posted a 20-1-1 record in 2002.
“In the first half they weren’t outplaying us,” freshman forward Jake Garfinkle said. “The first half of that first game we played was our best soccer all weekend.”
Clarke saw some nervousness from his players but also saw a well-played first half.
“In the first half we started tentative, but effective,” he said. “We were playing intentionally. We carried out the game plan very well, and we double-teamed them very well.”
In the first half, the defense held Trinity to three shots while the offense generated eight chances in front of the net. However, in the second half, Trinity managed eleven attempts, while the Bears put up only four.
More importantly, Trinity took advantage of their shots on goal.
“Even though we created five or six excellent chances to score,” Clarke said. “they got a couple of goals and we didn’t. We lost our momentum when they scored their third goal.”
The team made several alterations to the formation in the second half with the intention of generating more offense. As a result, the rest of the field opened up to Trinity’s forwards.
“The reason the third goal was a turning point was that they actually brought the ball through behind our defense and put a nice ball in the net, whereas before they just really got some fluke goals,” Garfinkle said.
Nearly ten minutes into the second half, a header by Trinity’s Josh Greenleaf bounced off the cross bar and Bears’ goalkeeper Jeremy Kaplan-Lyman failed to control the ball. Trinity’s Alex Woods followed through with a header into the center of the net for the third goal, and a hat trick for himself.
“Give them credit,” Garfinkle said. “Whether or not it’s a fluke goal or a really good goal, they wait for the other team to let down, and if that happens they capitalize. They had the ball on our end of the field almost the whole time.
“Their offensive capabilities are unbelievable,” Garfinkle continued. “Their defense is a little shaky, but possession-wise, wow. They had the ball seventy percent of the time. They know how to keep the ball, and they know how to put the ball in the back of the net.”
According to Clarke, Trinity also defended the Bears well, forcing turnovers at will. Clarke hoped his players would improve upon that aspect Sunday.
Garfinkle believes they did.
“I think we did play solid,” he said. “We moved the ball around very well, and we had possession most of the game.”
Unlike Friday’s match, on Sunday the Bears were the ones lucky enough to find breaks.
“It was 0-0, and Southwestern had one chance right in front of the net,” Garfinkle said. “They got the head ball that missed the side. It was a perfect cross, right to a guy’s head, and he was right in front of the net.
“He probably would have put it in any other day, but supposedly, [Clarke suggested that] today was just some magical day. We put the goal in, and they didn’t.”
Magic or no magic, the Bears outshot Southwestern 20-3 and had nine corner kick opportunities, as opposed to two by Southwestern. After dominating the match for nearly 64 minutes, sophomore Andrew Franklin scored the game winner on a rebounded shot by freshman Scott Frey.Ã¿ Ã¿
“I was pumped,” Garfinkle said. “It was exciting, especially since we hadn’t been scoring. I was definitely very enthusiastic from that point on about how we were playing.”
Garfinkle believes Southwestern is better than their showing against the Bears.
“Southwestern is a good team,” he said. “Maybe they just didn’t have it today. They’re one of those teams that we could go out and play tomorrow and end up losing the game. Once we get on top of our game I think we could beat them every time, but I don’t think we’re on top of our game yet.”
Identifying goal-scorers will have to happen in order for the Bears to be the team to beat every time.
“Yeah, our finishing could get better,” Clarke admitted. “We’ll keep looking, searching for those guys who can do that easily.”
Garfinkle believes that the squad can take the next step and improve on their initial showing if a finisher is found.
“Do I think that the team has a lot of potential? Yes,” he said. “Do I think that we have an unbelievable scorer that’s showing up yet? No.”
“But I think that it’s early in the season, and you’re not going to figure that out until later. I think you’ll see that the starting lineup will change a lot throughout the season because there are a lot of fighters on this team that really want to play.”
This weekend the Bears can change up the starting line-up again as they take on University of the South and Rhodes College at the Rhodes College Invitational in Memphis, TN.
“Winning the next two games or so would be huge, because it’s tough to win one game and feel like you’ve got momentum and then lose it,” Garfinkle said. “So hopefully, we’ll bring home two W’s.”
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