Ben Franklin started the boys soccer playoffs on a winning note Saturday.
The No. 11-seeded Falcons advanced to the second round of the Division II playoffs with a 3-1 win over No. 22 Helen Cox on Saturday at Ben Franklin.
“It was a great win,” Falcons coach Jose Ferrand said. “These kids played hard. ... Winning this first game is a testament to how hard our kids have played this year.”
Miles McGuire struck first for the Falcons (10-7-5) with a goal in the 28th minute. McGuire handled a long stretch pass, flew by the Helen Cox defenders and rocketed the ball by the keeper to put the Falcons up 1-0.
It was a case of persistence paying off for McGuire and the Falcons; they had tried that play throughout the first half only to be called for offside. Finally, their efforts were rewarded.
“They were playing a very high line with three at the back,” McGuire said, “so we had a good number of chances.”
McGuire almost scored again near the end of the half. He picked a defender’s pocket deep on the Helen Cox end and had a one-on-one opportunity with the keeper, but the shot went wide.
Franklin tacked on its second goal in the 35th minute. Chris Chatters broke by the defense and had just the keeper to beat. He did, and the Falcons took a 2-0 lead into halftime.
Franklin stayed aggressive and looked to be in control until the 49th minute when Helen Cox (9-9-2) finally broke through. Ahmad Hammad scored on a header that just barely caught the right side of the netting. Nevertheless, it put the Cougars on the board and back in the game.
However, the comeback attempt was short-lived.
Franklin’s Donte Oliver answered back with a long distance rocket shot five minutes later to put the Falcons back up two goals.
“It wasn’t all me,” Oliver said. “It was great for my team to find me. We weren’t able to capitalize on a lot of our chances, so when I got the chance, I capitalized.”
The Falcons will face No. 6 Holy Cross (12-5-8) in the second round of the playoffs.
“That is a huge game,” Oliver said. “They’re a really good team. They’re really organized. We always turn out for the playoffs, so hopefully we can get the big ‘W.’ ”
The Falcons played Holy Cross twice in the regular season, tying both times.
“It’s not going to be an easy game,” Ferrand said. “Holy Cross is going to have those guys ready, hopefully we can get a result.”