Elk County Christian has been the team to beat in the Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League’s North division for five years and counting, and it looks like that’s not about to change this season. Last Thursday, the Crusaders broke open their game against Port Allegany with four goals in the latter part of the first half on their way to a 6-1 win.
“We were just outclassed,” Gators coach Travis Cowburn admitted. “We’re hurting right now, with four key injuries. And when you get a fast, well-coached thing that can do the things they can do, we’re going to struggle.”
The game was tied 1-1 after the first 20 minutes, with Kaitlyn Kio scoring Port Allegany’s goal. “She ran through the ball. She’s been working on that,” Cowburn said. We’ve been working on keeping her body above the ball, and she finished. It was a good shot — well-placed in the corner.”
He added, “The first 20 minutes we stayed with them, we really did. The better team came out after that, but we can play with them. I think we’ll do well in the league.”
After dropping a 2-1 decision to Class AAA St. Marys Public on Friday with Amanda Kelley netting the lone goal for Port, the Gators rebounded with a 4-3 victory over Kane on Monday to improve their record to 2-1 in the league, 2-3 overall. Kaitlyn and Kaylee Kio, Bryanna Evans, and Kelley all found the net, and goalkeeper Jordan Edgell stopped 14 shots to pick up the win.
The Lady Gators return to action on Thursday afternoon with a home game against Smethport, before starting a long stretch of road games next week.
The Gators stayed undefeated in the UAVSL last week, following Monday’s 6-1 domination of Johnsonburg with a 2-0 win at Kane on Thursday. Ben Osani and Ken Kysor both continued their hot start to the season, scoring two goals each against the Rams, with Jon Binder and Scotty Brookens also finding the net. Three Port goalkeepers faced just three shots on a quiet night in the net. Kysor and Brookens scored the goals against the Wolves, with Willie Postlewait stopping four shots for the shutout.
On Monday night, they stayed with St. Marys Public for most of the game before dropping a tough 2-1 decision to the Class AAA squad on the Dutchmen’s home field. Kysor scored for the third consecutive game; Postlewait got another start in goal, recording 10 saves.
Now 3-2, 2-0 league, the Gators’ long road trip continued this week with games at Ridgway (Tuesday) and Smethport (Thursday). Port will finally play its home opener next Monday night against Brockway, with the game slated for a 4 p.m. start at the Mill Street field.
Following a lengthy layoff, the Gator golfers got back into the swing of things on Monday at the Smethport Country Club, defeating the Hubbers 36-19 and Otto-Eldred 28 ½-26 ½ to improve their overall record to 2-4. Kody Taylor shot a 45 to lead the way, earning medalist honors against Smethport; Kyle Hildebrandt (49), Kole Hults (54), Todd Bigley (54), and Marcus Borowsky (54) also picked up points in the wins. The Gators are slated to make a return visit to the county seat on Thursday.
Lynea Gustafson medaled with a 41 as the Lady Gators beat Smethport for the second time in as many tries, dumping the Hubs 30-25 in a match on their home course. Also contributing to the victory were Alesha Shatley (54), Cora Bova (56), Amber Fischer (75), and Sasha Fisher (80). Now 2-2 on the season, Port is scheduled for a match at Coudersport on Thursday.
A strong Coudersport team defeated the Gators’ young runners by a 21-34 score on Port’s home course last Tuesday. Freshman Aaron Majot crossed the line in 22:53.8, good for third place, with fellow captain Jameson Haskins finishing fifth in 24:47. Other Gator finishers were Jacob Undercofler (27:46), Lucas Manning (29:00) and Bryan Pritt (29:46). Port’s Adam Koehler won the junior high race, completing the course in 12:49, but the Falcons’ depth led them to a 27-39 win.
The team headed to Kane for a meet against the Wolves and Smethport on Tuesday afternoon, and will also compete in the Bradford Invitational at 9:30 Saturday morning.
On Tuesday night, the Gator spikers opened North Tier League play with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-15) win over the visiting Austin Panthers.
In recounting the match, Port coach Sharon Daniels wrote, “Great start to league play. Everyone contributed and fairly evenly. Kelsey Pistner (10 points, 2 blocks, 7 kills, 7 digs) hit very effectively, Alyssa Bowser (11 points, 3 blocks, 3 kills, 11 digs) played very strong at the net defensively. Jenny Shelley (14 points, 3 kills, 10 assists) led our offense with her serving and setting. Becky Andrus (7 points, 8 digs) got a hand on everything in the back and for a freshman, I am very pleased with the play of Rachel Taylor (3 points, 4 kills, 4 assists).” Port hits the court again this Thursday night at Cameron County.