After having its lead trimmed to a single goal by Lakeshore, Ben Franklin’s girls soccer team needed some breathing room, and senior forward Cadie Higginson provided it.
The Navy commitment scored a pair of second-half goals to earn a hat trick as the Falcons secured a 4-1 Division II, District 6 victory at Ben Franklin on Tuesday afternoon.
“It was just such a relief,” said Higginson about her curling 25-yard shot inside the post in the 64th minute. “It was a 2-1 game, and nobody wants that. Making it 3-1, just really shifted the momentum. They stepped it up in the second half, and we were able to weather that. The second half showed us some things that we need to work on, but it also showed that we can pull through. I think we’re in a good place right now.”
Ben Franklin (12-1, 5-0) dominated the first half as Higginson scored in the sixth minute, and the Falcons increased that lead on Higginson’s hard, low shot in the box to the far post in the 24th minute.
The three-time defending state champions had more opportunities, but Lakeshore senior goalkeeper Ali Bernard came up with save after save to keep it 2-0 at halftime.
The Titans (10-6-4, 5-1) looked like a different team in the second half as Lakeshore pushed hard and finally broke through in the 57th minute when senior Emma Claire Furman’s laser shot inside the far post cut the lead to 2-1. Just two minutes later, Furman had another chance in the box that was saved by Caroline Clayton.
Higginson answered in the 64th minute and followed up with a 75th minute goal to set the final score.
“They high-pressured us the whole second half,” Ben Franklin coach Jose Ferrand said. “They cut it to 2-1, and that put some more pressure on us. It kind of woke us up, and we started pushing a little more. Every game against them is high intensity, and I think the second match will be just as tough.”
Titans junior center defender Blair Boss left the match early in the first half because of an injury, which caused some lineup issues, but Lakeshore coach Wes Leake said his team needs to avoid slow starts under any circumstances.
“We have to do better in the first 10 to 15 minutes of the game,” he said. “Whether it is nervous jitters or whatever, those can’t be excuses. I have some young players starting, so we just have to work on being ready and tuned in from the start. We just can’t give up a goal in the first five minutes.”
Ben Franklin and Lakeshore, ranked No. 2 and No. 4 in the latest unofficial LHSAA power rankings, will meet again at 5 p.m. Jan. 27 at Lakeshore.