TAUNTON — The Franklin girls’ soccer team scored two second-half goals to defeat Bishop Feehan in the Division 1 South final Sunday. The Panthers (17-1-3) are now two wins away from their second state title in as many years.
The wind and rain picked up during the first half of the game, which was played at Taunton High School. As Franklin poured on the pressure in the first half, Bishop Feehan sophomore goalkeeper Shelby Hogan stepped up, making five saves to keep the Panthers off the board.
Although successful at stopping the Franklin attack, the Shamrocks (17-3-2) struggled to create good offensive opportunities. Junior striker Maddie Jolin finally got through the defense in the 29th minute, but sophomore goalkeeper Dani Lonati came up big with the breakaway save.
A throw-in deep in Franklin’s end led to the Shamrocks’ goal with 3:20 left in the first half. Jolin found the ball at her feet inside the 6-yard box and smoothly slid her shot into the net.
The Shamrocks carried the momentum into the second half, pounding away at the Franklin defense. Seven minutes in, Jolin was on another breakaway. Lonati came off her line and Jolin shot the ball over her head, but Lonati got her hand up just in time to deflect the shot over the crossbar.
About halfway through the second half, Franklin found its offense again. In the 21st minute, a Bishop Feehan defender was under pressure and facing her own end line when she made the risky decision to play the ball to her center back. The pass was too strong and it rolled straight across the top of the 18-yard box where Franklin junior Taylor Cogliano jumped on it. She took one set-up dribble and buried her shot just beneath the crossbar.
“She’s just so quick and so talented. If you’re not watching her, she’s going to burn you,” Franklin coach Tom Geysen said about Cogliano.
The next 15 minutes were evenly played, and the game looked as though it would go to overtime, until Cogliano settled the ball out of the air near midfield and played it forward to freshman Megan Adams. With a defender on her back and the goalie coming out at her, Adams slid at the ball. She barely got a toe on it, but that was enough to put the ball in the goal with 2:51 left on the clock.