The Port Allegany soccer teams continued their successful start last week, with each team opening UAVSL play with a win and the Gator girls adding a pair of non-conference victories.
The volleyball team began its season with a split in North Tier League action, dropping its opener to Coudersport before rebounding to sweep Austin.
Port Allegany 6, St. Marys 1
Port Allegany 3, Eisenhower 1
Port Allegany 4, Wellsboro 1
Autumn Buchsenschutz, who scored a team-best nine goals last season, has already surpassed that total just five games into the 2016 campaign. The senior midfielder netted a hat trick in all three games to move her total to 11 and maybe could’ve had more, but chose to pass to an open teammate on several occasions.
“Autumn Buchsenschutz can do anything in any sport. It takes a special person to be as unselfish as her. The sky’s the limit for her,” said Port coach Travis Cowburn, praising Buchsenschutz and fellow co-captains Kennedy Dates, Evie Russell, and Julia Young for their leadership.
Dates (1 goal, 1 assist), Shaylee Caulkins (1 goal, 2 assists), and Tara Briggs (goal) each found the net in Port’s home opener on Tuesday, with Caulkins also opening the scoring at Wellsboro on Saturday morning.
Junior goalkeeper Brianna Roys has stepped seamlessly into the lineup, replacing graduated four-year starter Laura Fox. She hasn’t allowed more than one goal in any game, stopping 11 shots against the Dutch, seven at Eisenhower, and 16 against Wellsboro.
“I’ve always said you have to be half-crazy to want to play goalie, and she says, ‘I fit the bill,'” Cowburn said, chuckling. “She’s coming out at all the right times, she’s doing real well. Her throws are even better than her kicks, which you don’t see very often in high school soccer. She’s making good decisions.”
Port was slated to travel to Smethport on Monday, then host Elk County Catholic on Wednesday.
Looking forward to the rest of the UAVSL slate, Cowburn said, “We knew the division would be weak with the exception of Ridgway. They’re going to be outstanding. But right now, it looks like the division is wide open. We’ll know in a couple of weeks.”
Are the Gators in that mix?
“We’re a lot better than I thought we would be after our first couple of scrimmages,” Cowburn said. “Maybe we’ll make some noise. Who knows?”
Port Allegany 10, Kane 0
After two tough tourney tilts to open the season, the Gator boys used Thursday’s UAVSL contest to give their reserves significant playing time.
Brandon McCaslin led the Port offense with a hat trick, Mackenzie Elliott and Howie Stuckey each scored twice, and Payton Caden, Calvin Burleson and Tyler Lashway also found the net against the overmatched Wolves. Josh Mealy and Adam Doan combined for the one-save shutout.
Port was scheduled to host Elk County Catholic on Tuesday and Smethport on Thursday before traveling to St. Marys for an 11 a.m. start on Saturday, leading into a much-anticipated showdown with Coudersport on Sept. 20.
Coudersport, which dethroned the Gators atop the NTL last season, looks poised to repeat. The powerful Falcons swept Port in last Tuesday’s opener, 25-14, 25-10, 25-13.
On Friday, Port returned the favor against visiting Austin, with Kierra Keck pounding out 11 kills, five aces and two blocks while Mira Terrette dealt out 24 assists in the Gators’ 25-23, 25-19, 25-18 sweep. Hannah Lathrop (nine kills) and Erin Stauffer (five kills) also contributed to the Gator offense.
Port visited Northern Potter on Tuesday before hosting league co-leader Otto-Eldred on Thursday evening.