Gator soccer teams tune up for playoffs with wins

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
October 22, 2009

Girls’ soccer:

At the beginning of the month, Lady Gators coach Travis Cowburn talked about needing to find the right ‘attitude’ for a potential playoff run. For the most part, the team has met that challenge, winning four our of five games heading into Tuesday night’s visit to Brockway.

Last Wednesday, Port spotted Ridgway a goal early in the second half before roaring back with three unanswered scores to secure a 3-1 victory, pushing their record to 7-8-1 (6-5-1 UAVSL).

“We’re on a good run right now,” Cowburn said following the Ridgway game. “We’re starting to gel. We’re peaking at the right moment.”

Senior midfielder Kaitlyn Kio scored the first and last of those goals, both after taking a shot to the face that would earn her a trip to the dentist following the game.

“Just shows you her grit,” Cowburn said. “She’s been our ‘mean machine.’ Amarae (Reinard) is our steam engine, and Kaitlyn is our leader on and off the field. Can’t say enough about both of them … She’s our heart right now, her and Amarae.”

Bryanna Evans netted the game-winner against the Elkers on a corner kick at the 24:00 mark, deftly curving the ball into the net from the left side of the field.

“I think we’ve only scored two goals off corner kicks in four years, so that’s always a plus. We’ve been working on them, too,” Cowburn said.

The regular season ends this Thursday with a visit from Curwensville, with playoff pairings yet to be determined.

Boys’ soccer:

The Gators dropped a heartbreaking 2-1 game at Brockway in overtime last Thursday, but rebounded to avenge an early-season loss to Coudersport Monday night as the team continues its late-season playoff push. Sam Shaffer scored the lone goal against the Rovers, and Kyle Conway netted the game-winner to beat the Falcons, each on assists from Jon Binder and Ben Osani. Max Parana was in goal for both games, stopping 10 shots against Coudy to earn the shutout.

Now 10-7 (9-4 UAVSL), the Gators conclude their regular-season schedule on Wednesday afternoon with a home game against Elk County Catholic. With double-digit wins on their résumé, Port should be in line for a decent playoff seed – and perhaps even a home game – when the schedule is announced.

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