Fenwick dominates Braves in sectional girls soccer opener


Fenwick dominates Braves in sectional girls soccer opener

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Talawanda’s Sydney Rollins (11) and Fenwick’s Mary Horvath (21) eye the ball Tuesday night during their Division II sectional soccer match at Fenwick. GREG LYNCH/STAFF

The Fenwick High School girls soccer team seems to be clicking at the right time.

Now, it’s finally showing on the scoreboard.

The Falcons opened Division II sectional tournament play Tuesday with a 3-0 win over visiting Talawanda for their second straight victory after dropping three one-goal games.

“It’s a good win,” Fenwick assistant head coach Chris Campbell said. “We didn’t play well all season. We just kind of never turned it on. It was kind of up and down, and we never knew what team was going to show up. It doesn’t reflect it in some of the scores, but the last few games, we’ve been the better team of who we faced. We just had some unlucky breaks that didn’t go our way. We’re starting to show what we can do.”

Fenwick (4-10-2), which finished with 19 shots on goal, dominated Talawanda (6-10-1) but didn’t pull away until the second half.

After carrying a 1-0 lead into halftime, it seemed only a matter of time before the score would reflect the Falcons’ play, though. They had taken the lead on Erica Hafer’s unassisted goal in the 31st minute and continued to test Talawanda keeper Kaitlyn Smith until Maggie Daigle gave some insurance early in the second half, scoring off a deflection with 25:01 left in the game.

Less than seven minutes later, Lauren Bowe put a shot from 25 yards just under the crossbar to seal it.

“We started clicking a little more on offense,” Campbell said. “We started to get that drive to go to goal. We made that push, got up and didn’t look back. We just dominated all around from there.”

The Braves had three close scoring opportunities in the first half, including their best chance in the 12th minute when Rachael Garrison went one-on-one with Fenwick keeper Rose Schaffer. Schaffer came up with a diving save to narrowly push the ball just wide of the goal on the far-post shot.

Talawanda didn’t get a single shot off in the second half until the final four minutes when the Braves had two near goals. Schaffer finished with five saves, while Smith had 16 for the Braves.

“We started only three seniors, and we’ve got kind of an older group that’s pretty banged up,” Talawanda coach Missy Friede said. “I think if we had a couple fall early — we had two one-on-ones with the keeper in the first half — that would have changed the momentum. The early second-half goal just changed the momentum.”

Fenwick advances to face Ross on the road at 7 p.m. on Saturday in the sectional semifinals for a chance to avenge last year’s loss in this same round.

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