D-9 soccer quarterfinals: Northern Potter 5, Port A 4 (OT)

The kick by Matt Lehman sliced toward the left corner of the Gator net, curving through traffic … ticking off the post … and in.

And just like that, with 4:37 remaining in overtime, Lehman’s team-leading 13th goal of the year sent defending District 9 Class A soccer champ Northern Potter to a hard-fought 5-4 quarterfinal win over Port Allegany. After knocking off the fourth-seeded Gators (12-7) on their home turf, the No. 5 Panthers (11-7-1) advance to face either top seed Karns City or No. 9 Redbank Valley in next Tuesday’s semifinal round.

But with five minutes left in regulation, despite controlling the ball for most of the game, outshooting Port 25-18, and dominating corners by a 15-2 margin, it looked like NoPo might not even make it to overtime when Sam Kysor’s direct kick gave the Gators a late 4-3 lead. The Panthers kept the pressure on, though, and Lehman headed home Matt Morgan’s corner with just 2:07 left to set up the heartstopping – and in Port’s case, heartbreaking – finish.
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Volleyball: Port A still perfect

With the 2011 North Tier League volleyball season down to its final days and the District 9 championships fast approaching, Port Allegany notched another pair of straight-set victories to remain unbeaten in non-tournament play heading into Thursday night’s rematch at once-beaten Coudersport.
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Gators “Go Pink,” wash out Red Raiders

CAMERON COUNTY 6

PORT ALLEGANY 54

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
Oct. 27, 2011

As a happy hometown crowd filed out of the Gator Field stands on Saturday after watching Port Allegany dismantle Cameron County, 54-6, coach Mike Bodamer delivered a simple message to Port’s postgame huddle:

“The real season starts Monday.”

That’s when, after practicing and playing since August and watching the Allegheny Mountain League scoreboard for the last two months, the Gators (7-1) can officially set their sights on unbeaten Coudersport in next Friday night’s showdown for the AML North division title. A berth in the league championship game awaits the winner, along with a chance at a high seed in the District 9 Class A playoffs.
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AML Football: Gators outlast Sheffield to move to 6-1

SHEFFIELD 6

PORT ALLEGANY 19

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
October 20, 2011

The Port Allegany Gators faced two opponents in last Saturday’s Homecoming game: A talented, determined Sheffield Wolverines team which had won two of its last three games, and a raw, blustery October afternoon that helped ground Port’s prolific passing attack.

That’s when Trent Neal made his presence felt. The junior running back powered his way to 65 tough yards on 14 carries, including a second-quarter touchdown run that put the Gators ahead to stay in their 19-6 victory.
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AML Football: Gators roll Hubs to stay in North race

PORT ALLEGANY 48

SMETHPORT 13

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
October 13, 2011

Memo to Allegheny Mountain League football teams: If you’re trying to plan a successful Homecoming weekend, don’t invite Port Allegany to the party.

For the second Friday night in a row, the Gators’ prolific offense put a damper on their opponents’ halftime festivities, scoring the first seven times they touched the ball and cruising to a 48-13 win over Smethport.
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Volleyball: “30 For 30,” Gator style

In ESPN parlance, “30 For 30” refers to a series of documentaries marking the sports superpower’s 30th birthday. But in Port Allegany, those numbers have an alternate meaning right now – chronicling the dominance of the Gator volleyball team.

Building off last Tuesday’s signature win over Coudersport in a showdown of North Tier League unbeatens, Port High held serve in its next two matches, overwhelming Northern Potter and Austin to move to 10-0 (9-0 NTL).

That’s 10 straight-set sweeps – 30 wins in 30 regular-season games for coach Sharon Daniels’ club, with only Oswayo Valley (once) and Coudy (twice) managing to crack the 20-point barrier against the Gators. What’s the difference this year?

“I think the attitude of the girls,” Daniels said. “They’re motivated to push to win. Not only do we have the big goal of winning the match, but we’ve got a lot of smaller goals to reach that goal: Winning the game, winning the match. I think that’s the difference. That’s what we’re doing at practice as well.”
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Boys soccer: Gators sink Dutchmen in UAVSL showdown

With frontrunners St. Marys and Port Allegany battling for the Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League North Division championship, last Thursday’s meeting between the two teams didn’t disappoint. The Gators eked out a 2-1 victory to beat the Class AAA Dutchmen for the first time in school history – and, more importantly, take over the top spot in the division.

“We always set multi-tiered goals,” head coach Aaron Clark said. “Playoffs is always first, and then building on the playoff seed. We’ve never seriously talked about a league title. This is the first year we’ve ever made a push. Getting that lead in the league is probably bigger for us (than clinching a playoff berth), because we knew that we were going to make playoffs. That was just bound to happen. We were confident that if we kept going, we were going to get a good seed, probably a home playoff game if we keep winning. But I don’t know how many times we’re going to get a chance to win the league, so we’ve got to make a push for it now if we’re ever going to do it.”
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AML Football: Gators race past Terrors

PORT ALLEGANY 62

OTTO-ELDRED 8

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
October 6, 2011

After spending most of their Week 4 game against Elk County Catholic idling on the sideline, the Port Allegany offense revved up the engines last Friday night at Otto-Eldred. Scoring the first seven times they had the ball – with none of the drives lasting more than 1:20 – while holding the overmatched Terrors to negative yardage in the first half, the Gators sped out to a 49-0 halftime lead, then coasted to a 62-8 victory to improve to 4-1 on the season.

“They definitely bounced back tonight,” Port coach Mike Bodamer said. “They played well on defense. And we got everybody in, which we’ve been wanting to do for the last couple of weeks. We had about five or six different kids score, so that’s nice to spread it around.”
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NTL Volleyball: Gators spike Coudy, remain unbeaten

With the Port Allegany and Coudersport coming into Tuesday night’s midseason North Tier League showdown with identical 7-0 records, the crowd in the packed Gator gym had to anticipate a tight, suspense-filled match.

They got their money’s worth. Neither team led by more than four points in the first two games, with Port staving off a Coudy set point before eking out a 26-24 win in the first game, then using two big spikes by Rachel Taylor to break a 23-all tie in the second for a 2-0 lead.

The third game was just as close, with the Gators clinging to a 10-8 lead, when Jenny Shelley made one of her biggest plays of the night, leaping high to stuff an attempted Coudy spike. Momentum firmly on Port’s side of the net, the Falcons would only score twice more the rest of the way, with Taylor serving out a nine-point run to close out the match 25-10 and keep the Gators unbeaten.

“That was big. Especially a solo block,” Port coach Sharon Daniels said of her 5-6 junior setter. “On a solo block, everybody’s like, ‘Yes!’ She played big tonight. She played six-foot-tall tonight.”

The same could be said of Taylor, Port’s big hitter, who dominated the net with 18 kills and five blocks while firing six aces among her 13 service points.

“She’s playing with so much confidence this year, she really is,” Daniels said. “And tonight’s the type of game we needed for her to continue to play hot. She did a lot of different things tonight that she hasn’t been doing because she hasn’t had to, so that’s nice as well.”

Shelley notched 33 assists and added four aces among her nine service points, and filled out the stat sheet with four kills and three blocks. But for Daniels, there were plenty of standouts on this night.

“Becky Andrus (23 digs) passed on the money all three sets,” she noted. “Becca Culver (six kills, six blocks) stepped up big tonight. Actually, our other two sophomores that are double-dressers (with junior varsity). Kris-Ann Raymo was sick today and couldn’t play – she’s my starting senior – so Taylor Causer (six service points, including three aces) came in and did a great job, Racheal Causer came off the bench and did a nice job. Bethy Bernardi (eight service points, two aces) did an excellent job of coming in for Ashley Woodruff, who’s got a sore shoulder and can’t serve. Truly, this was a nice team win. It really was.”

With the win over their longtime rival, the Gators (8-0, 7-0 NTL), who have yet to drop a single game in non-tournament play, take over sole possession of first place in the league.

“Love it,” Daniels said with a smile. “We’d like to stay there all the way through – but one at a time. One match at a time. That’s how we prepare, and that’s how we look at the season. Next match, Northern Potter.”

PAHS roundup: Almonacid on to regionals, soccer teams 3-0

Gator golfer Maximilano Almonacid carded a two-day total of 79-77-156 to place second at last week’s District 9 Championships, earning a trip to the PIAA Western Region qualifier on Oct. 18 at Toms Run Country Club in Blairsville.

The Port Allegany High School exchange student finished five strokes behind Bradford’s Josh Stauffer, who fired a 72-79-151 to win the district title at Pine Acres Country Club in Bradford, and six shots ahead of John Gaylor (Clearfield) and Calvin Christoff (Johnsonburg), who tied for third.

***

It was a winning week for both Port Allegany soccer teams, with the boys notching a pair of shutouts while the girls defeated Kane to split the season series with the Wolves.

Scott Brookens continued his Big 30-leading pace with his 16th, 17th, and 18th goals of the season, finding the back of the net once in the Gators’ 6-0 victory over Johnsonburg and adding a pair in Monday’s 3-0 win at Bolivar-Richburg. Tyler Kittilson scored twice against the Rams, with Adam Koehler, Derek Johnson, and Sam Kysor rounding out the attack. Johnson also scored against B-R, the third game in a row for the senior.

Ben Edgell stopped three shots in each game to record the second and third consecutive shutouts for Port, now 8-4 on the season heading into Tuesday’s trip to Smethport, then Thursday’s showdown against visiting St. Marys.

The Gator girls’ freshman forwards came through again in their 5-3 win over Kane, with Lynae Delacour scoring twice and Somer Buchsenshutz once to tie for the team lead with five goals apiece. Erika Helo and McKenna Johnson also netted goals and Jordan Edgell made 10 saves for Port, which won its third game in the last four to improve to 4-7.

Last Thursday’s game at DuBois Catholic was postponed until Oct. 8, with the return match scheduled for Oct. 20.