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The Lady Dutch were handed a minor setback on Tuesday afternoon as they came up short in a back-and-forth contest against Port Allegany, picking up a 3-2 loss to open their regular season. It was a cloudy and cool, yet dry afternoon at St. Marys Area High School's soccer field, despite it having rained off and on throughout much of the morning.
A considerable portion of the game was played on Port Allegany's side of the field as St. Marys kept Port keeper Jordan Edgell on her toes; however, the Lady Dutch were unable to get many shots into the goal.
Even though Port Allegany had fewer shots on goal than St. Marys, they made them count and got on the board first with 26:52 remaining in the first half. On that play, Port's Somer Buchsenshutz was battling for the ball near the goal when St. Marys keeper Mia Keener came out to try to take the ball. Keener appeared to lose her footing just long enough for Buchsenshutz to get by and put the ball into the empty net, putting Port on top 1-0.
The Lady Dutch were able to answer just over 10 minutes later, as St. Marys' Megan Bridges was able to take advantage of good position from a corner kick to slip the ball past Edgell to tie the game at 1-1 with 16:35 remaining in the half.
SMA made several good efforts to pull ahead, including a shot by Liza Geyer that went just over the goal and one by Caley Keister that was caught by Edgell with just over a minute remaining; however, the teams headed into halftime with the score tied at 1-all.
St. Marys had a total of four corner kicks in the first half, while Port Allegany had none.
Port Allegany retook the lead almost midway through the second half when Lynae Delacour scored on a breakaway with an assist by Gabrielle Drabert to put the Gators up 2-1 with 20:29 remaining.
The Lady Dutch answered two minutes later as Stephanie Yetzer was able to put the ball past Edgell to even the score at 2-all with 18:25 remaining.
The Lady Gators took the lead for the final time with just over three minutes remaining when Delacour scored her second goal of the game. Keener had again come out to try to get the ball and Delacour was able to put the ball by her and into the empty net with 3:44 left in regulation.
Despite a good effort, the Lady Dutch were unable to rally and a direct kick by Bridges with just over a minute remaining went wide of the goal.
"I give Port Allegany a lot of credit," said St. Mary Area Lady Dutch coach Dr. Bob Schmidt following the match. "They're a disciplined team. They had good passing. I think we outshot them, but we had some injuries during the preseason and some other issues and we only had one scrimmage and it showed, but we expect to improve."
The loss makes the Lady Dutch 0-1 on the season. They will travel to Punxsutawney on Thursday for a 4 p.m. matchup against the Lady Chucks.