SIDNEY – Franklin Monroe scored a season-high six goals in Thursday’s win at Lehman Catholic, but coach Danny Diceanu left Sidney feeling like the Jets had hit rock bottom.
Franklin Monroe was up 6-2 with less than seven minutes remaining in Thursday’s game but conceded three late goals, leaving the Jets clinging to a one-goal lead in the final minutes. They held on for the 6-5 victory, but the breakdown left Diceanu upset with his team’s performance.
“Horrible,” the Franklin Monroe boys soccer coach said. “We walk away with a win, and you feel like we lost because I’m not happy. Don’t like the way we played, the way we finished. We have some spurts of brilliance there, some great combinations, guys working for each other. You’re up 6-2, and to let it get away like that and give them the life that we decided to give them, I’m not real pleased. A couple times this season I thought we were rock bottom. There was only ways to get better, but we keep finding ways to get in deeper. I’m hoping that this is rock bottom and that we can go up from here and start playing better. Just very selfish at times. We’re not playing for the guys around us. We’re not playing for FM and what FM stands for – teamwork, unity, one team. Just disappointed in the overall way we played.”
Franklin Monroe faced an early deficit as Jake Emrick scored less than six minutes into Thursday’s contest to put Lehman up 1-0.
But late in the first half Franklin Monroe’s offense caught fire and scored three goals in less than four minutes. First Bryce Robison scored with just under 12 minutes remaining in the half then Brydon Diceanu notched two goals to put Franklin Monroe up 3-1 going into halftime.
The Jets’ strong offense continued in the second half with Robison quickly adding his second goal of the game to put FM up 4-1.
Lehman Catholic cut its deficit to 4-2 with just over 26 minutes remaining when Michael Denning scored. Denning also had three assists in the game, giving him a school record 18 this season.
Franklin Monroe then added two more goals – one each from Robison and Brydon Diceanu to give both players a hat trick and put the Jets up 6-2.
“Those things happen once Bryce got to midfield,” Coach Diceanu said. “I pulled him out of the defensive spot and we started playing a lot better, and that’s why we got up 6-2. But then at the same time you pull him out of defense and you drop other people and you expect them to do their work or their job, and today we failed at doing that. So good and bad and I’m walking away from here scratching my head wondering what I’m going to do and how we’re going to do it because it’s just not clicking so far like it should.”
The biggest defensive breakdowns occurred in the final seven minutes of the game when Emrick scored three more goals, giving him four for the game and a school record 34 for the season.
“The kid can finish,” Coach Diceanu said. “He’s a good ball player. Not to take that away from him but we certainly made it easy on him and on his teammates to come out here and do the things they did, and he finished with four goals. When you come into a game knowing a kid is going to be effective or a threat, you try to put him away and take that away from them, and we don’t … that’s just plain dumb. We just got to do better, and ultimately I guess it falls back on me.”
Lehman’s final goal of the night came with 2:30 remaining. The Jets were reeling for the final two-and-a-half minutes, but ultimately they were able to hang on for the win.
“I’m glad we won,” Diceanu said. “It wasn’t pretty. I’ll take a win over anything, but losing teaches you, and we’re just not learning with all the losses that we’ve had this year. We’re running out of time. We better start learning soon or we’ll be going home early.”
Franklin Monroe improved to 5-7-2 with Thursday’s win while Lehman fell to 10-6-1. The Jets will conclude the regular season on Saturday at Cincinnati Seven Hills before beginning Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament play next week.
“Granted this is probably the best schedule that I’ve ever had – play four state-ranked teams and eight of the top 10 teams in the Miami Valley,” Coach Diceanu said. “This team is not quite at the level that some of the other teams that I’ve had in the past, but at the same time we’re not reaching our potential, and that’s what you judge good and bad, success and not success. And every team has a certain level of potential, and I don’t think that we’ve reached that, and that’s why I’m upset.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.