By Anna Wilson
The men’s soccer team improved its season record to 4-5-2 and 2-1 in the HCAC on Saturday after traveling to Cincinnati to take on Mount St. Joe.
“We got started off quickly,” head coach Shaun Mahoney said. “Any game like this seems probably easier than it really was.”
Franklin grabbed a big 5-1 victory over the Lions, which started with a hat trick from freshman Antonio Gioe in the first seven minutes of the game, totaling six goals for the season. Gioe’s goals were all within a three minute time period. Sophomore Zachary Shoufler tallied an assist in Gioe’s three-goal run in the first half.
“Antonio puts himself in the right places at the right time,” Mahoney said. “It’s the biggest part of goal-scoring.”
As the second half was underway, Shoufler grabbed a goal himself early on before sophomore Austin Fundenberger added a goal just over 15 minutes later. Shoufler added another assist with the fifth goal of the night.
“Zach’s level of improvement this season has been tremendous, and his hard work is paying off,” Mahoney said.
Gioe went three for three on his shots, while Fundenberger went one for three and Shoufler finished one for two. Senior Chad Parrett added two shots to the mix, helping the Grizzlies outshoot Mount St. Joe 14-13.
As for Franklin’s goal, senior Lucas Hill tallied seven saves, having a perfect game for his 73 minutes on the field.
“Lucas is a big part of our team,” Mahoney said. “He does his job well every game, and when he comes up with a few saves that perhaps he shouldn’t make, then we’re in every game.”
After Hill left the field, the Lions were able to get one in the back of the net with just under three minutes left in the game.
The Grizzlies look to their next matchup on Wednesday as they host Transylvania at 7 p.m.
“This match is huge,” Mahoney said. “Certainly both teams need the win in the conference standings, but more importantly, we’re playing at home and need to take advantage.”