The lead was passed around almost as much as the ball as AMBOCA Ecological Services took on Northland Beverage in U13 soccer Monday evening at the Canada Games Centre.
Three times in the first half of play Northland scored go-ahead goals, only to fall back into a tie as AMBOCA found the back of the net. Finally, 18 minutes into the game, AMBOCA took the lead at 4-3 before scoring one more in the first and five in the second for a 10-7 win.
Northland coach Kelly Lanigan, knowing that AMBOCA is a strong team thus far, does not see the loss a bad sign.
“They held their own out there with those kids tonight,” said Lanigan. “There are some older kids on the other team.
“My team is the youngest team out there,” said Lanigan. “Once they figure out that they can work together, that they can pass, they’re going to be all right I think.”
However, Hanne Hoefs, AMBOCA’s coach, also sees growing potential on her bench.
“This is the second week of the regular season, the kids don’t even know each other too well,” said Hoefs.
AMBOCA’s lead was cemented in the second half, scoring three straight goals to go up 10-6.
Although Andrew Scoffin, who Hoefs calls a “scoring machine,” recorded four goals on AMBOCA’s behalf, Melissa Boone was named AMBOCA’s player of the game.
“She worked her heart out,” said Hoefs.
Maddison Jarvis shared Boone’s honour on the Northland bench, having set up three of her team’s goals.
“She had lots of drive tonight, she was always first to the ball,” said Lanigan. “She’s going to get better, there’s no doubt about it.”
Another noteworthy performance came from Calden Hoefs, who scored for both teams — on purpose!
Because of a lack of players, Northland had to borrow a couple players form AMBOCA — one in each half. Each scored while subbing in, but Calden also put one in during the second half while back in his team’s white jersey.
Camille Galloway also scored two goals for AMBOCA, while brothers Peter Joe and Trygg Jensen each produced one for the scoreboard.
Garret Enoch and Tyler Rear each scored a pair for Northland.
Better Bodies holds on for win
In the opinion of Titan Gaming coach Tim Anderson, “It turned into a pretty good game.”
After taking a 5-0 lead by half time, the undefeated Better Bodies (3-0) narrowly avoided losing all their gains as Titan Gaming (0-3) surged back into the game with four goals in the second half.
However, Better Bodies found the back of the net one last time on their way to a 6-4 win.
“We didn’t have any subs either, so they just sort of caught fire in the second half,” said Anderson.
The winless Titan team has been plagued by slow starts in all their games thus far in the budding season.
“We have to get off to a better start,” said Anderson. “Because the first half is killing us. Every game it’s like five, six (to) nothing in the first half, and then we come back. (But) it’s hard to come back from too many goals.
“(We) need more of a warm up,” he added.
On the other side of the coin, Better Bodies needs to maintain focus and not get too comfortable with multiple-goal leads.
“They all get cocky,” said Better Bodies coach Melissa Smith of her team in the second half. “Then they’re just like, ‘OK, let’s have fun,’ and then slack off.”
Titan’s Christina Anderson did the most damage in the second half, scoring a hat trick, while teammate Dylan Reed added the fourth.
Graham Mainer-Pearson Travis Banks each scored two goals in the Better Bodies effort. Matthew Smith and Chris Dick also did their part, each with a goal for Better Bodies.