Franklin Regional girls soccer has strong base to build on

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Saturday, September 4, 2021 | 11:01 AM


With nine returning starters, Franklin Regional’s girls soccer team looks like it will have staying power this season.

“We only graduated three seniors, so we have a very experienced team returning,” second-year coach Scott Arnold said. “With so many returning players, we are building up on where we finished last year so we can go further in the playoffs.”

The Lady Panthers went 11-2-1 and finished second in Section 1-3A, despite some key injuries.

The season ended with a 1-0 loss to Montour in the WPIAL quarterfinals.

Arnold expects his team to compete for the section title again, but the Panthers will have to overtake defending champion Hampton.

“From what I have seen so far, we are capable of playing better and we hope to do so as consistently as possible while understanding that we will make our share of mistakes,” Arnold said. “It may take a few games for us to get into form, but I think we will improve as the season progresses with the goal of playing our best soccer in the playoffs.”

A crop of senior leaders should blend well with depth and experience. Multiple scoring threats and a stingy defensive unit will balance out the Panthers.

The top returnees are All-WPIAL midfielder Sydney Lindeman and forward Sydney Kranick.

Lindeman, a Towson commit, had 12 goals last season. She is on the national watchlist for the High School All-American Game.

Other returning starters include senior Abby Bogler (D), senior Morgan Walters (F), junior Sierra Todero (F), junior Riley Phillips (D), junior Mauriana Dorsch (D), senior Kaia Traphagen (MF) and senior Annie Klingensmith (D).

Todero also was an all-section player who earned three penalty kicks last year and led the Panthers in assists.

Count sophomore goalkeeper Aris Lamanna as a starter, too. She filled in when senior Sydney Caldwell went down with an injury late in the year and played well.

“(Lamanna) was fantastic at the end of the season,” Arnold said. “I expect her to have a strong season, not only as a shot-stopper, but also with her distribution of the ball.”

Todero also was an all-section player.

Walters, who has committed to Seton Hill, could emerge as another scorer for the Panthers.

The defense, Arnold said, is “vital to how we play out of the back.”

Klingensmith and Bogler, team captains, will anchor the back line. Phillips, Dorsch and sophomore Addy Lacey are other key defenders.

Franklin Regional allowed the fewest goals in Section 1-3A in 2020.

“To increase our chances to advance further into the playoffs we have to do two things, in particular,” Arnold said. “One, improve our goal-scoring chance creation against the top opponents in the WPIAL and two, reduce turnovers and improve our ability to circulate the ball.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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