Lady Elkers down Lady Dutch

ST. MARYS – The Ridgway Lady Elker soccer team handed the St. Marys Area Lady Dutch a 4-1 loss Wednesday afternoon in a match played at the SMAHS soccer field.St. Marys came out the aggressor in the match, but could not keep the pressure on the Ridgway defense as they were not able to get a shot on goal in the early going.Ridgway got on the board first when Rhianon Fowler scored with 33:32 left in the first half. She would score at the 20:25 mark, giving the Lady Elkers a 2-0 lead at the half.Ridgway had six shots on goal in the first half to four for St. Marys. Lady Dutch keeper Mia Keener and Ridgway keeper McKenna Rowles each had four saves in the first half. The Lady Elkers had five corner kicks to none for the Lady Dutch.“Coming into the game, we had no idea what St. Marys had. I told the girls to just play our game,” said Ridgway coach Greg Maddalena. “I thought we started out flat, but stepped it up after we scored. We really stepped up to the challenges and I am proud of every one of them.”The second half started out, with St. Marys getting a corner kick around the 34-minute mark. The teams played in the middle of the field for quite some time. With 17:48 left in the match, Courtney Bush scored for the Lady Elkers from the top of the box as Ridgway took a 3-0 lead.The Lady Dutch got on the board with 11:45 left when Stephanie Yetzer scored for St. Marys, making it 3-1.The Lady Elkers responded at the 10:33 mark when Fowler scored her third goal of the game, giving Ridgway the 4-1 lead.Ridgway outshot St. Marys 8-1 in the second half. Keener had five saves for the Lady Dutch, while Rowles had three. Ridgway had two corner kicks while St. Marys had one.“We’re really beat up. Ridgway played well. They have good team speed and they are a seasoned team and we have a very young squad and I congratulate them,” said St. Marys coach Dr. Bob Schmidt.These same two teams will meet Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. at the SMAHS soccer field in the opening round of the Bucktail Tournament. Bradford meets Elk Catholic Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Angela Huey Field in Kersey in the other first-round game.The consolation and championship games are scheduled for Saturday at St. Marys Area. The consolation game is set for 10 a.m. and the championship game is scheduled for a noon start."We started out too flat the first 10 minutes of play, but then started to turn our game around by working the ball from our defense to our mids and into the path of our two strikers," Maddalena said. Maddalena said the Lady Elkers offense has been impressive. "I am so impressed this year with our ability to score on the average of around four goals a game, but the reason I am getting these opportunities is because of the play of my outstanding defense  of Amanda Maddalena, Megan MacDonald, Tracey Ecklund, and Gabby Benninger. Which brings me to my midfielders who are distributing the ball very well by giving me through balls into space or easy chips over the defenders and they are Jenn Parker, Danie Dwyer, Michelle Buhler, and Sammy Covac, and the one girl I am really starting to believe in is our keeper McKenna Rowles who really is raising her level of play. It's not just one or two girls it’s the whole team to make everything work, and they know that."