Port High soccer teams start season on the right foot

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
September 10, 2009

Boys soccer:

Port Allegany 4, Sullivan County 2
Northeast Bradford 3, Port Allegany 1

Expectations are high for the Port Allegany soccer program this year. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams are eying a return trip to the District 9 playoffs, and each squad took the first step toward that goal by splitting a pair of matches over Labor Day weekend.

The boys made their annual trip to the Galeton tournament, beating defending champ Sullivan County 4-2 in an opening-round game. While Port coach Aaron Clark noted that the Griffins are starting several freshmen this year, he added, “They were still a challenge. They were good. They got up 2-1 at the end of the first half; it wasn’t a cakewalk. But we started dominating the play in the second half, and sort of dictated what went on.”

Jon Binder led the Gators with two goals; Ben Osani added a goal and two assists, and Ken Kysor also scored.

With the win, Port moved on to the championship game, where they fell 3-1 to Northeast Bradford.

“That was a tough game,” Clark said. “We were down three starters – Kirby Elliott and Sam Shaffer (due to injury), and Ken Kysor (yellow cards). Between being down three players and having it be the second game of the day, it was just tough. It was 0-0 at halftime. We played right with them. I don’t want to say they were better than us; they just got a few breaks, and we didn’t.”

Osani tallied the lone Gator goal against the Panthers; Willie Postlewait started both games in the net, making a combined 16 saves on the day.

Overall, Clark is pleased with the start to the season. “We’re very confident in the team going into Johnsonburg,” he said. Due to a scheduling quirk, the Gators will play each of their first seven games on the road, including Tuesday’s game against the Rams and a visit to Kane on Thursday.

Girls soccer:

Bolivar-Richburg 5, Port Allegany 0
Port Allegany 4, Brockway 3

Following the girls’ season-opening 5-0 loss on the artificial turf at Bolivar-Richburg, head coach Travis Cowburn’s initial assessment was simple and to the point: “We were thoroughly outclassed. We played sloppy, and it showed.”

He continued, “If our wings don’t get back against a fast team, then it’s going to leave problems, and it showed there. We abandoned our new formation just after halftime and tried to shut things down, which we did, but the damage was done and we just couldn’t get back into it.”

Jordan Edgell stopped 10 shots for the Gators, and Cowburn also noted the strong play of Amarae Reinard, Shanel Halle, and Hannah Wise.

After returning from Bolivar late Friday evening, the team had an early wake-up call for a rescheduled 10 a.m. home game against Brockway. Although Cowburn admitted that the quick turnaround seemed to leave his team flat, Port managed to rally from a two-goal deficit to notch their first Upper Allegheny Valley league win of the season, evening their record at 1-1 with a 4-3 victory over the Rovers. Amanda Kelly scored twice and Kaitlyn and Kaylee Kio each added a goal, while Edgell made 13 saves in goal.

“They didn’t have much of an offense, but they have a girl who’s really, really fast up top, Amanda Lindemuth. They just try to boom it and she runs onto it, and she can finish. That’s how they scored two quick goals. It was 2-0 very quickly, but our seniors stepped up. Kaitlyn Kio, Amarae Reinard again, and Brittany Drabert really stepped up and started to control the ball in the midfield, which is what we needed,” Cowburn said.

“Our passes started to come together. They were doing the things we’ve been working on, and when they do that and succeed at it, we should win some games. I was very proud that they didn’t get flustered after being down 2-0.”

The Lady Gators were scheduled to face Dubois CC at home on Tuesday afternoon, but the game was postponed due to local filming for the movie “Unstoppable,” with no makeup date set as of press time. Five-time defending league champion Elk County Catholic visits on Thursday, followed by St. Marys on Friday, with both games slated for 4 p.m. starts.


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