ST. MARYS – The St. Marys Area Dutch soccer team avenged an early-season loss to Ridgway in a big way on Thursday afternoon, tallying up the most goals they have scored in a single contest all year en route to a 5-1 trouncing of the Elkers.
"I'm just real proud of the guys today," said St. Marys Area coach Russ Micale. "We came back and avenged a previous loss of the season."
"We talked about beating those teams that beat us previously, and this was one of them," he added.
St. Marys had a shutout going for most of the game, as Ridgway's lone goal came with less than 10 minutes remaining after the Dutchmen had pulled many of their starters.
"I'm just disappointed," said Ridgway coach Todd Voss. "It's been a good season, and we probably played our worst game since we started, so we've got to start all over again."
After losing to the Elkers 3-2 in the consolation game of the Elk County Boys' Soccer Tournament earlier this month, the Dutchmen seemed cautious at the start of Thursday's rainy match. Ridgway tested the St. Marys defense with a few early shots and, as each one was blocked or missed its mark, the Dutchmen seemed to slowly gain confidence and take control of the momentum. St. Marys may not have have taken many early shots, but they made the ones they did take count as Jarrod Lipsey's second shot found its mark in the back of Ridway's net to give the Dutchmen a 1-0 advantage with 29:42 left in the half.
With just under 10 minutes left on the clock before halftime, Dutchman Josh Burns sent a high shot toward Ridgway's goal. Elker keeper Robbie Byrd tried to jump and block the shot, but the ball sailed just out of his reach and landed in the back of the net, increasing St. Marys' advantage to 2-0 with 9:43 remaining on the clock.
Ridgway threatened with a nice shots throughout the half, but Dutch keeper Brett Lanzel was able to come up with some big saves to keep the Elkers off the board. Both teams unofficially had 10 shots in the first half.
St. Marys came out strong in the second half, taking a shot within the first minute of the game, and finding the back of the net once again less than two minutes into the half. As Dalton Gennocro took the ball towards the Ridgway goal, Byrd came out to try to secure it but missed his mark and Gennocro was able to put a shot into the empty net, giving St. Marys a 3-0 lead with 38:02 left to play.
The Dutchmen added their next goal almost 15 minutes later. With a number of players battling for control of the ball in front of Ridgway's goal, an initial St. Marys shot appeared to deflect back to John Kennepohl, who was able to put the ball into the net to make the lead 4-0 with 24:06 remaining.
St. Marys recorded their final tally with 15:08 remaining as a shot by Deric Luvaas deflected off of a Ridgway player and into the back of the net, giving the Dutchmen a 5-0 advantage.
As the minutes wound down, St. Marys began to sub out many of their starters to allow other team members to gain some valuable playing time. Ridgway took advantage of the opportunity and was able to finally get on the board as Peter Pontzer sent a shot past Lanzel with 8:43 left on the clock, making the score 5-1. The Dutchmen unofficially outshot Ridgway 15-8 in the half, and kept the Elkers off the board for the remainder of the contest, coming away with the 5-1 win.
With the win, St. Marys is now 4-6 on the season and will be back in action on Saturday as they host Smethport in an 11 a.m. match.
Ridgway, now 3-6, will also return to action on Saturday as they host Kane at 11 a.m.