Broncos girls soccer holds heads up high in loss

Published 2:47 pm Friday, April 3, 2015

Franklin’s Latrina Cross works to keep the attack on Park View’s side of the field. --  Cain Madden | The Tidewater News

Franklin’s Latrina Cross works to keep the attack on Park View’s side of the field. — Cain Madden | The Tidewater News

Last year, Franklin High School became one of the only schools sized 3A or under within a three-hour driving radius to offer a girls soccer program. The first-year program did not win a single game, but that’s related to the girls’ inexperience with the sport.

Along with some newcomers to soccer, many of the same girls have returned to open the 2015 season. Despite starting off the season 0-1, the Virginia High School League 1A Lady Broncos stuck with the 3A Park View Lady Dragons until the referee blew the final whistle. They ultimately lost 2-1, but in the end they were trying to place the ball into the net on a rebound from a penalty kick from Lauren Causey around midfield.

“It was the best game we have ever played,” said returning head coach Christopher Gorgei. “Last year, Park View practically mercied us out there. To play them 2-1, we are just really excited with the development.”

Franklin drew first blood, as Latrina Cross started the festivities on the pitch with a score at the 1:45 mark. It was the third goal in program history — the other two also having been recorded by Cross last season.

Keeper Simone Tolson gave up two goals, but each happened on breaks when the Dragons were able to get the ball through a Broncos defense playing aggressively at midfield.

“We’re hoping she plays at the next level,” said Gorgei of Tolson. “We’re talking to some coaches and hoping they will come down and check her out.”

Although the aggressive defense enabled a couple of easy one-on-one goals for the Dragons, the Broncos were able to spend the majority of their time on the attack. That helped the Broncos keep a 1-all tie until the last 10 minutes of the game.

“I think that was the problem for Simone,” Gorgei said. “Most of the game was spent on Park View’s end.”

On the attack, Gorgei thought juniors Gabby Wade-Bell, Kayla Powell and Cross looked much improved from last season.

“They are going to do magnificent things,” he said. “Overall, it was not a bad game. I am very happy with how we played.”

The head coach said he and the girls were looking forward to the season.

“We did a lot of work in the offseason,” Gorgei said. “For most of our girls, this is the first time that they have ever played the sport. Because of that, we were doing soccer clinics as early as November.”

While most of the girls were not familiar with the rules and strategy aspects of soccer at first, it’s starting to click, the coach said.

“It’s absolutely catching on in Franklin,” he said. “We are a school with 300 kids, but we had 24 girls come out, and I have 19 girls on my roster. Even though we are a small school compared to the teams we are playing, we have a lot of motivation to play the sport.”

The Broncos are next in action today, April 3, against the Essex Lady Trojans.