COUDERSPORT – A late comeback fell short for Ridgway boys soccer as the Elkers lost 3-2 to the Coudersport Falcons in the first round of the District 9 Class A boys soccer playoffs Monday night at CARP Park.
“I don’t know why they have to wake up in the second half but they made it interesting,” Ridgway coach John Ogden said. “I told them beforehand that they had nothing to lose, so play hard. A sloppy first half and an exciting second half, they’re the cardiac kids. They just came up short.”
Coudersport opened up a 3-0 lead on a hard-fought goal with just over 28 minutes left in the second half but the Elkers began to rally and Kyle Jacobs was able to slide a goal into the lower right corner on a transition play from midfield for the Elkers. That put the Elkers within two at 3-1 with 20:20 left in the second half.
Ridgway then took advantage of a mistake from the Coudersport goalkeeper to put the deficit down to one at 3-2. On a long ball from Ridgway to the left side of the field, the Falcon goalkeeper charged out of the net approximately 30 to 35 yards to try and cut the ball off from Elker striker Tad Pierce. The goalkeeper realized he could not get to the ball in time and began to retreat back to the goal but Pierce was able to loft the ball over everyone into the yawning net which put the Elkers within one goal of a tie.
Ridgway continued to put the pressure on the Falcons and had a late flurry in the Coudersport penalty area with just under two minutes remaining but could not get a solid shot on goal as the Falcons were able to take the narrow victory.
Pierce opened the game with a shot that went wide in the first minute of the game. He also had a shot which was saved and forced a Ridgway corner kick in the seventh minute. Elker goalkeeper Jesse Schneider made a save 10 minutes into the game on the Falcons. Coudersport scored two minutes later when a shot went in underneath the crossbar to put the Falcons up 1-0.
The Falcons added a penalty kick with just over 15:30 for a 2-0 lead, a lead Coudersport would take into the locker room at halftime.
“I thought it was 37 minutes out of the first 40 they had it down on our side,” Ogden said. “We just couldn’t do anything right. I think it might have been nerves because they were in the playoffs. The second half, they turned back into themselves waiting until the end to make their run. They got a taste of it this year. Next year, we’re advancing.”
Ogden said the team had a successful season and he is happy with the team’s performance.
“I’ve never been prouder of any team I’ve coached, never been prouder of the seniors that I’ve had,” Ogden said. “This is a good team, they all get along and they deserved to go to the playoffs. They showed that they can compete with the top teams. They came up a little short but that’s experience for next year. This team has been the most fun I’ve ever had coaching.”
Coudersport advances to face No. 2 seed Brockway at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the second round.