Laing said the Tornadoes’ pressure was so intense that he opted to go against a strategy he normally employs when his team is trailing.
“When we get down by two at the 20-minute mark, I’ll take (Downin) out and put her in as a field player. But even my wife, who was helping me out today, said you can’t take her out because she’s only thing from keeping this from getting really out of control,” he said. “Had I felt we could have controlled it a little more, I would have made that switch because Haley is almost as good a field player as she is a goalie. I could not do that because they put so much pressure on us.”
Beers had two more quality shots, including one that hit the crossbar, over the final 10 minutes. She’ll be back next season, along with eight other Franklin starters.
“A lot of this season was about learning for us,” Laing said of a squad that won Franklin’s first sectional title of any kind in girls sports. “I’ll tell you what, we’ll be back. We’ll be strong next year. I’m real proud of how they played this year. I have no complaints.”
Poland 4, Franklin 1
CLASS D STATE QUARTERFINAL
Saturday at Fulton High
Number before team indicates section
Franklin 1 0 — 1
Poland 2 2 — 4
4-Franklin (15-3-1): Jessie Downin 1-0, Jordan Beers 0-1.
3-Poland (19-1): Paige Sullivan 1-0, Mikayla Blumenstock 3-0, Alyssa Lepper 0-1, Tara Seigle 0-1.
Shots-corner kicks: F 6-4; P 14-5.
Goalies: Haley Downin (F) 8; Courtney Green (P) 4.
Rob Centorani can be reached at email@example.com or 607-432-1000, ext. 209.