With time winding down in a scoreless game against district foe Ben Franklin on Wednesday, Lakeshore was looking to cap its solid road performance with a game-winning goal.
Senior captain Keegan Stanworth stepped up with that goal in the 78th minute as the Titans earned a 1-0 Division II, District 6 victory at Ben Franklin.
“We feel like we’re playing together as a team, so it feels good to get the winning goal like that,” Stanworth said. “I was able to get it around the defender, and luckily, it went through the goalie’s legs. It feels great.”
The battle of top 11 teams in the latest LHSAA power rankings was a physical match through as Lakeshore (9-6-4, 4-1-1) generated several chances before Stanworth scored. His goal was set up by a solid pass into the box by Christian Palma as the Titans pressured the Falcons defense.
“We’ve finally seemed to come together and play as a team this year,” Lakeshore coach Andrew Knock said. “We played a full game today. We’ve kind of given it up at the end there in a couple of games, so I’m glad that they came through there. In the five years that I’ve been at Lakeshore, this is our first win at Ben Franklin.”
The Titans, undefeated in their last nine matches, dropped an earlier game against Ben Franklin on a late penalty kick, so Wednesday’s victory for the No. 8 team in the power rankings was sweet.
The teams battled to a scoreless halftime score, but it was not for lack of effort. Lakeshore’s Jacob Bernard had a pair of quality chances in the 13th and 29th minutes that were saved and directed wide.
Miles McGuire nearly gave Ben Franklin (7-6-3, 3-1-1) the lead just before halftime as his chip over the goalkeeper bounced off the post.
The match opened up even more in the second half as Bernard had a shot saved in the opening minutes, and Ben Franklin’s Donte Oliver put a shot in the side netting in the 50th minute. Bernard just missed again for Lakeshore as his header in the 63th minute was headed to the back of the net until Jake Ryan cleared it away near the goal line. Stanworth scored 15 minutes later to seal the match.
Ben Franklin coach Jose Ferrand said he expects more tight matches in district play.
“Soccer is a game of inches,” he said. “It could have been us 1-0 or 2-0 in the first 70 minutes, but they kept on working hard. Lakeshore had that opportunity, and they put it in. It was a great game by both teams. I’m proud of our guys. We’ll learn from this and go from there.”
The teams will meet again at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Lakeshore.