Nielson’s goal, sold defense sends Franklinton to win

Published 12:05 am Saturday, January 27, 2018

SLIDELL — Franklinton scored the match’s only goal just 15 minutes into the contest and had to hold off a strong offensive attack by Salmen in the second half to capture a 1-0 victory on the road Wednesday in District 6-II play.
Kassidy Nielson scored Franklinton’s goal in the 15th minute after sending it in from the right side of the field to give the Lady Demons a 1-0 lead, an advantage they did not relinquish.
“(Nielson) played well,” Franklinton coach Drew Brooks said. “We had some scoring opportunities and she was able to capitalize on one. We played well enough defensively, but that was enough. We scraped out a win tonight.”
Both teams had scoring chances after Nielson’s goal, but the defenses kept it a 1-0 game.
Salmen had a strong offensive attack and kept the pressure on Franklinton in the second half, especially over the last 20 to 25 minutes, but Lady Demons sophomore goalkeeper Ashlan Ard made key saves and Franklinton’s defense was solid.
“The defense really helped me down there,” Ard said. “Lorna (Smith), the last defender, helped me a lot. When they would shoot, she blocked a lot of goals for me and slowed the ball down so I can get it.”
Brooks said his keeper made eight to 10 saves in the second half.
“I mean, she saved the game for us,” Brooks said. “She’s done it all year. For a kid who has never played there before to do as well as she’s done this year, I’ve been very impressed and very proud.”
Brooks said defense was big in the game.
“You’ve got a couple of starters out sick, but the kids came off the bench,” Brooks said. “Bayleigh Burch is a freshman that hasn’t gotten a whole lot of playing time. She played the whole game tonight and did great.”
The win put Franklinton at 7-5 while Salmen went to 7-10.
Franklinton is 41st in the unofficial LHSAA Division II power rankings while Salmen is 39th.
On Tuesday, Franklinton lost to Our Lady Academy, 6-2 at home.
Nielson and Sydney Ignacek tallied a goal each for Franklinton.