By CHIP CIRILLO | Photos by STEVE WHEELER
Franklin kept missing scoring chances until Sam Case finally boomed one home.
And he left no doubt.
The attacking midfielder blasted a shot into the upper right side of the net from 7 yards out in the 54th minute, giving the Rebels a 1-0 win at Brentwood on Tuesday night.
“No keeper is going to stop that. Great shot,” Franklin coach Mike Burgoyne said. “He probably hit that ball about 75 miles per hour. I don’t care who was in goal, it was going to go through the keeper. He hit it so hard.”
Chris Miller-Hill played a ball over the top to set up Case, who let the ball bounce once before kicking it over Brentwood goalkeeper Justin Lambright.
“I was just waiting for a through ball and I got it over the top,” Case said. “I just kind of hit it in the sweet spot and it went straight upper 90.”
Case and Miller-Hill, both juniors, combined for a similar goal earlier in the season.
The Rebels connected on three crisp passes before scoring.
Four starters return for Franklin (3-2, 3-0 District 11-AAA), which has won four of the last five regular-season league titles. The Rebels lost 14 players from last year’s sectional team.
Franklin nearly added to its lead when Logan Brady hit the left crossbar from 10 yards out in the 66th minute.
“Franklin’s defense is very stout,” Bruins coach Mike Purcell said. “We never really had more than one chance, even on the rebounds and the second ball in the box. They were winning all the balls there.”
Franklin freshman Ben Menko made six saves to earn the shutout. Lambright made 12 saves for Brentwood (2-2, 0-1).
“It comes down to finishing and that’s what we didn’t do today,” Bruins forward Cameron Williams said. “It was just kind of chaotic. We weren’t communicating very well. Bad touches, not connecting passes.”
Burgoyne still sees room for improvement, especially on the Rebels’ build-up play.
“And (we’re) holding onto the ball a bit too long,” Burgoyne said. “It’s been a point of emphasis. We get a couple of good passes in and then take two to three touches when only one or two touches are needed. And we need to play the ball just a bit quicker.”
Franklin at Independence on Wednesday
White House at Brentwood on Wednesday