D9 soccer playoffs: Both Gator teams lose OT heartbreakers

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
October 29, 2009

Boys’ soccer: DuBois Central Catholic 2, Port Allegany 1 2OT (4-3 PK)

As the last daylight faded over the hilltops and the referees prepared for the shootout that would decide their District 9 first-round playoff game, Port Allegany coach Aaron Clark met DuBois Central Catholic mentor George Suhoney along the sideline at midfield. They shook hands and agreed, “No matter what happens, this was a great game,” then stood side by side as the first shooter approached the ball.

And after 80 minutes – plus another 30 of overtime – weren’t enough to separate the two teams on Tuesday evening, no one should have been surprised that it came down to the last kick. With the score tied at 3-3, DCC striker Daniel Leroy somehow managed to find the net in the gathering darkness at the Port Allegany field, and the ninth-seeded Cardinals celebrated their 2-1 (4-3 PK) victory.

“I’m proud of all those guys, because we’ve got a patchwork-quilt team,” Suhoney said. “When we lost five in a row, there wasn’t a coach in the district – or even the world – who thought we’d make the playoffs or do anything in them.”

The Gators struck first in regulation, with senior midfielder Jon Binder scoring from a Ben Osani throw-in. The two almost connected again off a corner kick later in the first half, but Leroy, who stepped into the net after the Cardinals’ starting keeper was injured, made the save to keep the score 1-0 at the break.

Joe McNally, a UAVSL South Division All-Star for DCC last season, netted the equalizer at the 23:00 mark of the second half. Both teams had their chances after that, but the numbers on the scoreboard didn’t budge as Leroy and Port High netminder Max Parana made a series of outstanding, pressure-packed saves to set up the dramatic ending.

DCC (10-8) moves on to play top seed Karns City on Thursday, while the Gators conclude their second consecutive double-digit-win season at 10-8-1.

Girls’ soccer: Ridgway 1, Port Allegany 0, 2OT

“Heartbreaking.”

That’s how Port Allegany coach Travis Cowburn began his description of the Lady Gators’ double-overtime loss to Ridgway in Monday’s opening round of the District 9 playoffs.

“Three of our last four games have been like that,” he continued. “We dominated every facet of the game, but every time we sent the ball in, it either went straight at their goalkeeper or we didn’t get anything on it. The defense stopped them, but the offense, for whatever reason, just couldn’t find the back of the net. That was a microcosm of our season.”

After Port goalkeeper Jordan Edgell matched Ridgway’s Alyson Dybowski save-for-save through over 100 minutes of play, Rhianon Fowler managed the only goal of the game midway through the second overtime to send the Lady Elkers (7-11-1) on to face top seed Brookville Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile, Cowburn’s squad wrapped up its season with a 7-11-1 record, meeting one of his goals and falling just shy on the others.

“We set three goals at the beginning of the year,” he said. “We’d never beaten Kane, and we accomplished that. We wanted to get to double-digit wins, but we didn’t quite make it there. And we wanted to win a playoff game … and we had it, but we came up just short.

“I can’t be more proud of them,” Cowburn concluded. “I appreciate their heart and desire.”

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