The Waterford Ravens met the West Panthers on Friday in the cold North winds in Rose Park. The Panthers, playing with just 11 men, were able to hang with the Ravens for the entire game before losing steam and falling to Waterford 8-6.
Waterford Midfielder Luke Pyper scored first followed by West Midfielder Zack Wolfe to make the score 1-1 after the first quarter. Both teams struggled with the cold temperatures and were unable to find that final pass. Waterford was able to find their rhythm in the middle of the second quarter when attackmen James Eardley scored 3 goals in 3 minutes, giving Waterford the 4-1 lead at halftime.
West was reluctant to go away and give the Ravens the win. Tough defense by West as well as inconsistent play by the Ravens allowed West to claw back into the game. Wolfe had goals at the 9:45 and 5:40 marks to make the score 4-3 for Waterford. With 2 minutes remaining in the quarter, West Goalie Raphael Chanut, after making a save, threw the ball to midfield. The Waterford defensemen was unable to handle it and it slipped past him. West Attackmen Jordan Ikeda was able to scoop it up for a one-on-one fast-break opportunity which he converted to tie the game at 4.
The biggest play of the game came next. Wolfe shot and scored for West with 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter but the goal was waived off due to an illegal screen. Pyper picked up the ball and was able to get a quick restart, taking it the length of the field for the goal which was a huge momentum boost for the Ravens. Waterford used that momentum in the fourth quarter, scoring three goals and closing out the game for the 8-6 victory.
“We hung in there and fought hard to get the win,” said Waterford Head Coach Dave Brattin. “The cold made it hard for us to play our game and guys were dropping balls and having difficulty picking it up.”
Pyper led the Ravens with 3 goals and 1 assist. Attackmen Matthew West had 2 goals and 2 assists. West was led by Wolfe who had 5 goals.
Waterford will take on Woods Cross on Tuesday. West will play Timpview on Thursday.