Heading into Wednesday night’s girls soccer showdown with Whiteland, Franklin coach David Young said one of the keys for his team would be containing the Warriors’ talented junior midfielder, Madison Hill.
The game plan didn’t quite work out.
Hill assisted on the first goal of the match and scored four times in the second half, powering Whiteland to a 7-1 road win in Mid-State Conference action.
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“I would say she’s definitely on the level of one of the top players in the county,” Young said.
Hill set up the first goal for the Warriors (5-2-1, 2-1) when her free kick from about 30 yards out midway through the first half glanced off the crossbar and out of bounds off of Franklin keeper Alex Bedard, resulting in a corner kick.
The Grizzly Cubs (2-5, 1-2) deflected Whiteland’s first corner out of bounds, but on the second effort, Hill sent a perfectly placed ball across to the left goalpost, where freshman Stephanie Brady was waiting to head it home with 19:33 to go in the half.
That score held through the intermission, and Franklin had a couple of opportunities in the opening minutes of the second half, but Hill scored on a free kick in the 47th minute to stretch the lead to 2-0, and the rout was on from there.
Hill put in her second goal with 31:10 left, and Madi Bartak converted on a pass from Brady just over three minutes later. A left-footed rocket from Hill with 25:08 to go capped a run of four Whiteland goals in an 8:32 span.
“Once we score one, we’re good to go,” Hill said. “We’re on a roll after that.”
Hill’s fourth and final tally came with 9:23 remaining. Franklin avoided the shutout thanks to an Emilie Hill goal with 4:02 left, but the Warriors answered back when Madisyn Proctor put away a lead pass from Emily Williams with 41 seconds on the clock.
Whiteland coach Abby Gross said she was expecting a tighter match, but she didn’t seem surprised at all by her team’s second-half outburst.
“They know if they keep on working and keep on battling, they’re going to get more,” she said. “We were so close on so many opportunities; during halftime, we just talked about how we had to be more creative out there on the field.”