Future looks promising for Franklin Regional girls soccer
The Franklin Regional girls soccer team’s season didn’t go according to plan, but evidence of a positive future came to fruition.
The Panthers (7-9-2, 4-8-2) finished sixth in Section 1-AAA and showed flashes throughout the year by posting shutouts in blowout fashion.
After starting the year winning two of three, the Panthers traded wins and losses the rest of the season and were unable to jump to the upper half of the section to secure a postseason berth.
“Obviously it was disappointing with the record, but I think we played better than the record indicated,” coach Rich Garland said. “We played competitively the first half, but some injuries set in.
“The learning you take from it is we played a lot of younger kids who grew and matured into the roles we asked of them.”
Garland said the Panthers’ fast, possession brand of soccer improved, but did not translate to the wins that he expected. Franklin Regional, at times, dominated the time of possession, but was unable to finish with goals.
“Getting everyone on the same page to build through the midfield to the goal took some time to get implemented,” he said. “Once we did, you can see the improvement.
“Our speed of play and possession got better, but we didn’t get the wins.”
Moving forward, the Panthers will lose three starting seniors to graduation in Tiffany Jolayemi, Mackenna Grieco and Anna Phillips. Garland said their competitive nature and willingness to be coached will be missed.
“I really enjoyed what the seniors contributed to the program and sure they will be missed moving forward,” Garland said. “I will be sad to see them go, but at the same time, I’m happy that they’re moving on to that next chapter of their lives.”
Junior midfielder Victoria Rothrauff received all-section honors and led the team in scoring. Junior forwards Olivia Dorsch and Bella Larese showed their talent and future leadership skills throughout the season.
The freshman class will provide a positive spark to the Franklin Regional program in the coming years. Led by all-section selection Sydney Lindeman, freshmen Sydney Cranick, Morgan Walters and Sydney Cranick matured and developed into reliable players.
Garland said having played a younger crop of talent, as expected, led to growing pains, but as the season progressed gave players an opportunity to showcase where they fit. Having that varsity playing time and not being forced to teach a new system should lead to a successful campaign next year.
“We’re still a very talented group and a year more mature,” he said. “We’ll have to spend a little less time getting the system applied and more time implementing it and getting after it playing faster should be good for us.”