For the second time in three nights the Lady Rockets took the pitch under the lights of Carter Field for an evening matchup with the Franklin Knights. Unfortunately, Titusville, again came up on the wrong end of the stick behind a first-half goal from Rylee Mattocks to give the visitors a 1-0 victory.
The locals competed in Wednesday evening’s contest without the services of senior forward Lindsay Sines, who was absent from the game nursing an injury.
“That was huge for us,” said head coach Luke Dye of Sines’ absence.
Right off the opening kick, the Knights went on the attack, driving five shots in the initial 10 minutes, including the difference maker.
With Franklin looking to set up shop in their offensive zone, Mattocks arrived with the ball on the Titusville 40-yard line and powered a shot in towards Paisley Crawford that appeared to take a funky bounce off the sophomore goalkeeper and over the goal line, just 9 minutes and 14 seconds into the contest.
From that moment, both sides locked down defensively, allowing only 11 additional shots on the goal for the remainder of the evening.
Adeline Hartshorne managed the Lady Rockets’ only three shots of the first half, with all three testing Knights’ netminder Mallory Wetjen.
Trailing 1-0, the locals approached the start of the second half with relentless pressure, as Brooke Anthony, Isabella Middleton and Hartshorne all fired shots on goal in the first five minutes of the frame, but nothing could get past Wetjen as Franklin maintained their advantage.
“We changed up our formation a bit,” said Dye when asked about his team’s second-half surge. “We noticed a lot of Franklin’s attack was coming from the center.”
The Lady Rockets’ head coach also praised his side’s efforts in the early stages of the second half.
“The girls dug deep,” explained Dye. “There was nothing I said that made it happen. (It was just) intrinsic motivation.”
Desperate to find an equalizer, the locals began to establish themselves inside their opponent’s defensive zone.
With 16:20 remaining in regulation, Titusville drew the first of two free kick opportunities. Sophomore Anna Shellgren put her best foot forward, delivering a heat-seeking shot that beat Wetjen, but was denied by the crossbar. Then, just six minutes later, Shellgren, again, sent in an outstanding chance that trickled wide right.
The Lady Rockets’ last gasp in the closing moments was not enough to generate any further shots, resulting in Titusville’s second consecutive 1-0 result.
“Both games we lost in a one-moment deal,” said Dye, referring to Titusville’s 1-0 loss to Maplewood on Monday evening. “Soccer is a game that is detail-oriented, and we keep getting beat on one detail. To go at (Franklin) with no subs and players who have not played varsity before, they still did an amazing job.”
Titusville drops to 2-9 overall and 2-9 in Region 3 action. They will have a little extra time off before hosting Oil City on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 4 p.m., at the Ed Myer Complex.