The Port Charlotte girls’ soccer team faced what might be the best team in District 3A-13 last night. And though the game didn’t go as well as the Pirates had hoped, they weren’t the least bit discouraged by the outcome.
Port Charlotte dropped a 6-1 decision after the North Fort Myers Knights exploited their speedy forward line. The loss dropped the Pirates record to 1-4 on the season with a 1-2 mark in the district. The Knights are now 5-1 and undefeated (3-0) in district play.
“What I’m proud of is that these girls played as hard in the final 15 minutes as they did in the opening 15 minutes,” said Pirates’ head coach Bob Theriault. “The big problem for us was, when we made a mistake they capitalized just about every time. We’ll see them again later this season and we’re going to have to give them fewer chances next time.”
Pirates’ goalkeeper, Kendall Cryer, helped keep the game from getting too out of hand with her aggressive play. She made 11 saves in the first half. While some of the saves were routine, she routinely came out of the net to meet onrushing attackers. Most of the time she was first to the ball.
“I like coming out because I feel like I have at least a 50-50 chance and it feels like I’m playing football,” said Cryer. “We are doing pretty well this season, but we have to do better with the outsides. It seems like they’re always coming from the outsides. But I know we’ll improve on that as the season goes along.”
The Knights’ Michelle Cohen scored in the ninth minute to open the scoring. This was one of only two times when Cryer’s aggressive play didn’t work out as Cohen barely beat Cryer to the ball while on a clean break.
The Knights scored twice more in the opening half. The first was a hard blast to the top corner and the second from in close.
In the 24th minute, Cryer made another aggressive save and took her lumps in the process. She was removed from the game for several minutes. In the meantime, Alyssa Toth came in to replace Cryer and made a save of her own during her three minutes of action.
While the opening half was played in an on-and-off drizzle, the rain picked up in the opening minutes of the second half. During the rain, Cohen and Makenzy Dupree score for North Fort Myers for a 5-0 lead. But for a diving save by Cryer in the fifth minute, it would have been 6-0.
Eventually, Dupree did score the sixth goal for a 6-0 advantage, but Port Charlotte soon got that one back.
In the 15th minute, Emily Porto took the Pirates only corner kick of the game. She nearly connected with her twin sister Megan on the kick. But Megan’s attempt to hit the ball in off her chest went just wide.
Three minutes after the corner kick, Megan Porto was taken down in the box and was awarded a penalty kick. She drilled it hard about four feet off the ground into the left side of the goal.
“My sister was taking a free kick and I got it. I was going to capitalize and kick it in or get taken down for a free kick,” said Megan Porto. “It just so happens the other girl pushed me down from behind and I got the free kick. We do that a lot. Emily will look for me in that situation and I’ll try to capitalize.”