Whitman strikes early, late in eliminating Franklin, 2-0 3A boys soccer

November 13, 1993|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

WALDORF -- Franklin stayed within a goal of nationally ranked Whitman for 75 minutes by stressing defense. In the end, though, it didn't work.

Whitman, ranked 13th in the nation by USA Today, took advantage of early and late Franklin breakdowns to win 2-0 in its Class 3A state semifinal game at Alumni Stadium. It was Franklin's first defeat in nine games.

Whitman plays No. 1 Centennial for the 3A state title.

"We just played defense," Franklin head coach Bob Herring said. "They had too much firepower for us. But we did what we had to do out there.

"They were the best team we've seen all year by far. I can't fault anyone on our team."

Whitman (14-1) quickly used its speed advantage, putting Franklin on its heels with a score five minutes into the game.

Senior midfielder Ben Ferry lofted a 15-yard pass to a charging junior forward Makinga Tshmanga along the left sideline. Tshmanga, who outran four defenders, immediately tapped the pass off his left foot to score from five yards out past goalkeeper Alex Balbir.

It was Ferry's team-leading 22nd assist.

"The problem was I didn't have a first touch before that shot," Balbir said. "It was a wake-up call for me."

Whitman didn't secure the win until scoring again with 5:08 remaining. Junior midfielder Judah Cooks weaved past three defenders and punched in his 21st goal of the year into the right corner of the goal.

"I was pleased with our whole effort until that last goal," Herring said.

Cooks, who averages nearly two goals each game, was held in check until that score by Franklin senior fullback Rob Gehman.

Franklin (10-2-2) positioned eight players on defense to contain a Vikings offense that had been producing 4.5 goals a game. Whitman's margin of victory this season was four goals per game.

After the initial goal, the Indians held Whitman scoreless on the next 16 shots. The Vikings converted their two goals on 18 shots.

Balbir, a sophomore, remained poised after the first goal. He made six saves in his seventh start.

"The defense was amazing," Balbir said. "They really took great care of me. I didn't have to do much out there."

However with 12 minutes remaining, Balbir kept the one-goal margin when he charged to cut off a lead pass to Cooks in a one-on-one situation.

With only one player on the offensive end during transition, the Indians never sustained any offensive possession. The six shots were spaced throughout the game.

Vikings senior goalkeeper Darren Lamiman made one save for his sixth shutout. The Indians broke a 34-minute stretch without a shot when senior midfielder Chad McClure launched a 17-yard shot that skimmed over the crossbar.

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