Led by goals from Sophie Kelly and the game-winner from Madison Hurst, Hampton girls soccer team handed Franklin Regional its first section loss of the season on Thursday evening.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Staying in Class 3A this week but taking in a section 1 match up between Hampton and Franklin Regional. The match up will be pivotal as Hampton has an early section loss to Gateway and can ill afford a second defeat so early with Franklin Regional still unblemished in the section.
Franklin Regional, a team who builds from the back and keeps the field stretched used their style to find a dangerous shot early in the match, placing the blast over the crossbar.
The Panthers owned most of the possession with Hampton creating some counter attacks.
One of those counter attacks would lead to a corner kick with 14 minutes left in the half. The corner would force Franklin Regional’s goalkeeper Aris Lamanna to make a save by pushing the shot upward and off the crossbar.
The second corner kick for Hampton would prove costly for the Panthers as Ava France’s attempt forced Lamanna to make another save. This time the rebound pushed towards the back of the six, but finding the head of Sophie Kelly, who would place it home to give Hampton a 1-0 lead.
Early in the second half, Franklin Regional took no time to get the equalizer when Sierra Todero streaked down the right touchline, then drove a low cross through the box to find an attacking Morgan Walters on the back post to make it 1-1 in the 42nd minute.
From that point, the match tightened up, with both sides prioritizing its defensive shape. Each team would get a free kick from a dangerous area but neither side could find the frame.
With just over five minutes left in the second half, Hampton’s Madison Hurst shifted past her defender, found her way into box, then drove a well-placed ball to make it 2-1 Talbots.
In the last moments of the match, Franklin Regional pushed to get a quick equalizer but it would fall short.
After two early season losses, Hampton (3-2, 3-1 in section) earned a much-needed victory, its third in the row, to stay near the top of the section as they handed Franklin Regional (3-2, 2-1) its first section loss of the season.