By Chris Brooks, managing editor, wellsvillesports.com
ARKPORT — An all-out defensive war across the first 40 minutes of play was exchanged in favor of a high-octane offensive slugfest to close out an epic confrontation between Friendship/Scio and Arkport/Canaseraga under the bright Wednesday night lights at the Melody Harwood Soccer Complex in Arkport.
Five goals were tacked onto the board, with three of them coming across a five minute span in the heat of battle. With the lead already in hand, the Lady Wolves saw big markers from Peyton O’Dell and Chloe Henshaw make a big difference at the end of the night, as the hosts in black and teal were able to hang on for dear life at the final horn to deliver a 3-2 edging of Friendship/Scio.
“It was nice to have some girls back in the lineup to help get us healthy again so we can get that firepower back up front, and that helps,” said Friendship/Scio coach Dillon McFall. “We had our moments where we played really well and won the ball, but we had a couple of breakdowns that cost us throughout the night and in goal. We have to finish the ball better. Their keeper made a couple of great saves, but we can do a better job of things and it will come.”
After a stellar showing of defense highlighted the first half of play, the action quickly shifted to the offense when both teams returned to the field for the second half. Nearly six minutes from the kick at center, Arkport/Canaseraga was first to act quickly with Shannon Spoth’s score, breaking the ice underneath Friendship/Scio (6-8) with a 1-0 lead.
The lead grew at the 28:12 mark for the Lady Wolves with O’Dell finding her way to the back of the net, as the score began a consistent strand of scores that would stretch across the next five minutes on the field. A strand that also saw Friendship/Scio cut their deficit right in half with the first of two Nevaeh Ross scores at the 25:44 mark to keep them within reach of the Lady Wolves.
But the hosts did not bring their foot off the gas, as they regained traction on their two-goal lead just over two minutes later, as Henshaw provided her big contribution to pick up a 3-1 lead.
Despite falling back behind by a pair, Friendship/Scio would not let up with their pressure, as they stayed right behind Arkport/Canaseraga with Ross’ second marker with 17:31 left to go, scoring off a pass sent along by Cece Davenport.
In the end, Arkport/Canaseraga was able to hang on until the end to claim victory in close fashion.
Both teams combined to record 29 total shots on offense, with the Lady Wolves claiming the narrow 15-14 advantage. In goal, the win belonged to Maddie Kellogg, who made 13 saves. On the other side of the pitch, Grace Drumm set aside 11 shots for the visitors.
Friendship/Scio will now see a week away from action, as they begin preparations for a 5 p.m. contest with the Bolivar-Richburg Lady Wolverines in Friendship, next Wednesday night.