Ben Franklin’s soccer season of goals, saves and sacrifices ended Friday night on penalty kicks.
Edward Wax’s shot fell short of the goal post against Vandebilt Catholic goalkeeper Charles Doskey, igniting an on-field celebration at Tad Gormley Stadium, the final moment of a 6-5 shootout loss in the Division II state soccer championship. The teams played through regulation and overtime without a goal.
After the play, Doskey ran to his teammates, watching from midfield. They met up near Wax, who slowly walked back to greet his Ben Franklin squad, the defending state champion. The goal stopped the No. 7 seed Falcons from mimicking the success of their girls squad, which earlier in the evening repeated as state champion.
Instead, the boys ended their season 19-5-3.
“It’s such a tough situation to be in, kicking PKs,” coach Jose Ferrand said. “There’s a bunch of pressure. He’s a senior. He kept his head up after the game. That shows a lot of character for him. (After graduation) he’s going into the Navy, so he’s going to have to (be ready to) deal with a lot of adversity there.”
Vandebilt Catholic, the No. 5 seed, claimed its eighth title by taking control of a back-and-forth, scoreless game through regulation, two 10-minute overtime periods and another five-minute period.
“That was one of our best, and one of our toughest games we’ve played this entire season,” said Franklin junior Grady Thiel, a center midfielder.
Doskey was named Most Outstanding Player in the finals, thanks in part to his work during regulation, which included several masterful saves, allowing Vandebilt Catholic (18-7-7) to keep Franklin and top playmaker Miles Mcguire off the scoreboard.
“I got kind of scared — I’m not going to lie,” Doskey said. “I know our defense was strong and I thought, once we score, we are going to win. Once we got to PKs, I had complete trust in my boys.”
Earlier this season, Franklin beat Vandebilt Catholic 4-1. Not this time, thanks to Brennan Rogers’ kick, the final boot for Vandebilt.
“Vandebilt is an amazing team,” Franklin goalkeeper Connor Travis said. “They’re a much better team than they were when we played in January. It was a great game. Could have gone either way.
“I think this is going to give us the drive we need next year to finish out with the trophy.”