The ball didn’t come off of Emilie Hill’s head as cleanly as she had hoped. No matter.
The Franklin sophomore’s header off a corner kick from her sister Delanie Hill found the net anyway with 1:38 to go in regulation, helping to break a tie and lifting the Grizzly Cubs to a 3-2 victory at county and Mid-State Conference rival Greenwood on Wednesday evening.
It was the second time in the match that Emilie Hill had headed in a Delanie Hill corner, the first coming with 4:55 remaining in the first half.
During the past two seasons playing with her sister, Emilie Hill said that she’s grown to know where Delanie is going to put the ball, and “she knows where I like it.”
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Hill’s late heroics helped negate a superstar effort from Greenwood junior Kayla Rance, who scored both of her team’s goals — the second of which tied the match in the 65th minute.
“She’s better than advertised,” Franklin coach David Young said of Rance.
Though the Grizzly Cubs (6-5-2, 4-1 Mid-State Conference) controlled play for most of the first half, it was the Woodmen who got on the board first. Rance took a throw-in from Autumn Smith, pivoted and fired a tough-angle shot from the left side of the box.
The tide turned, though, when Greenwood senior midfielder Taylor Neely went down with an apparent knee injury midway through the first half.
Franklin seized the momentum almost immediately, evening the score less than two minutes later when Charlie Kinney cashed in a through ball from Madeline Alexander.
Greenwood coach Joe Mushrush was not yet sure of the extent of Neely’s injury, simply saying, “It’s not minor.”
Despite the loss of Neely and a second straight defeat after a 9-0-1 start, Mushrush was pleased with the effort his shorthanded Woodmen displayed.
“I’m glad we fought back as well as we did,” he stated.
The two teams will end up second and third, respectively, in the conference standings behind Plainfield, which clinched the league crown by beating Mooresville on Tuesday.
A sectional title, though, is still in play for both — and the Grizzly Cubs know a rematch could well be involved.
“We know that we could get them again,” Young added, “and they’re a tough out.”