Another close one: Punxsy edged on Senior Night
PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsy girls' soccer team honored its seniors in a ceremony prior to Tuesday night's game against Redbank Valley, and despite strong performances from many of the seniors, Redbank scored the only goal of the evening to win 1-0.
After the ceremony, the Lady Chucks seemed pumped up and ready to play, but it was Redbank that controlled the time of possession early and managed the first scoring opportunities.
Redbank's first scoring chance came in just the second minute, but Punxsy keeper Aly Dickey intercepted a cross to thwart the threat.
Dickey made another save three minutes later when Redbank junior Hailey Rearick managed a shot on goal.
In the eighth minute, Rearick's pass through the box ended up missing its target and slipping just outside the post, and in the 14th minute, it was Dickey making another save on Rearick while Alex Blough crashed the net for a rebound.
Punxsy senior Sierra Milton turned up the intensity for the Lady Chucks with two scoring opportunities in the 18th minute, but each lead pass was just too far ahead of Hunter Smith.
Punxsy's best opportunity of the evening came when Milton drew the ball deep into Redbank territory and, after a nice hesitation move, fired it for the upper-90 on the left side of the net.
Redbank's keeper, Cheyenne Dubia, was able to get a hand on it, though, pushing it just high.
On the ensuing corner, Milton crossed the ball in front of the net, but when the lanes closed, Punxsy dropped the ball back to Milton for a shot from the corner.
This time, the ball was out of the keeper's reach, and even appeared to go into the net, but it turned out the shot was just high over the crossbar.
Redbank struck with what would prove to be the winner in the 29th minute of the first half.
Dickey raced out of her net to challenge a Redbank attacker, and she successfully stopped the shot, but the rebound squirted free, and Redbank's Jade Adams found herself in the right place at the right time to finish and give Redbank the lead.
In the next minute, Punxsy nearly answered when Milton fired a shot on goal that trickled toward Dubia.
She misplayed it, though, and Punxsy senior Sydney Dubensky almost put it home to tie it up.
Redbank threatened again late in the first half, but time ran out on its attack, and the score remained 1-0 at the half.
The first six minutes of the second half saw scoring opportunities for both teams, but nothing came of any of them, and for the next ten minutes each team traded possessions in the mid-field.
In the 16th minute, Punxsy threatened again when Emily Horner passed to Milton, who danced down the sideline, but Redbank's Kelsey McLaugh- lin pushed the ball out of bounds to slow the attack.
Punxsy maintained possession in the zone, and Milton put a shot on goal, but Punxsy was unable to manage another on the rebound.
In the 25th minute, Redbank almost went up by two goals when Emma Kennemuth placed a perfect header off a corner kick on goal, but Dickey made the stop to keep Punxsy within one.
Punxsy's final chance came in the 32nd minute when Milton had another shot on goal.
Dubia pounced on the rebound just as Punxsy's Courtney Huffman was arriving at the ball, but the ball stayed in Dubia's arms.
After the game, Punxsy head coach Kevin Hughes was disappointed his team couldn't pull out the victory on Senior Night despite several scoring opportunities.
"We had a lot of shot; we just weren't able to finish," he said. "
Punxsy will travel to Karns City for its final game of the season Thursday night.