Kendall battles to rain-soaked tie with Holley to clinch tie for G-R title
Playing in a steady, at times, torrential rain, Kendall battled to a 1-1 double overtime tie at archival Holley this evening to clinch at least a tie for a second straight Genesee Region League title.
An exchange of first half goals between Kendall’s Skyler Heller and Holley’s Gabe Mendoza proved to be all the scoring as the slick field conditions caused by the heavy rain combined with strong goaltending efforts by both the Eagles Riley Reis and the Hawks Patrick Bower resulted in shutouts at both ends the rest of the way.
Kendall improves to 7-0-2 in G-R action with one game remaining, at Attica on Wednesday, while Holley is now at 4-2-2.
“It was like a sectional setting,” said Holley Coach Dan Orbacker of the intense contest.
“It was quite the contest,” agreed Kendall Coach Brian Duffy. “It was like sectionals. And considering the conditions it was a real good preparation for the postseason tournament.”
Kendall jumped out to a quick lead just seven minutes in on a hard crossing shot from close range by Heller.
Holley though battled back to knot the contest with seven minutes to go in the opening half on a long driving shot by Mendoza.
Both keepers then came up big in the second half and the two 10 minute overtime periods which saw both teams have a number of corner opportunities. Bower had a couple of key stops in the second half, including one leaping one handed block of a shot, while Reis had one big diving save in the first overtime to keep the contest knotted.
“Kendall has a very good, mature team and I thought it was an even match,” said Orbacker. “We had our opportunities and so did they.”
“We certainly had a lot of opportunities,” agreed Duffy. “Both teams played hard and both teams had good chances.”
The nearly even number of corners, 8 for Holley and 6 for Kendall, reflects the tightness of the contest.
Reis finished with 12 saves for the Eagles and Bower made 9 stops for the Hawks.