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Lady Marauders fall to Olean, 3-0

Olean’s Paxton Retchless follows through after making a play on the ball during Tuesday’s CCAA West girls soccer game at Dunkirk High School. OBSERVER Photo by Anthony Dolce.

The Olean Lady Huskies continued their strong season entering one of their last games, as they took down the Dunkirk Lady Marauders, 3-0 in a CCAA West girls soccer game, on Friday night at Dunkirk High School.

The Huskies won the first meeting of the season between the two teams, 4-0, back in September. However, Olean coach Dan Freeman noticed a difference in the way the Marauders played, both this season and compared to their past seasons as well.

“Dunkirk has improved over the last few years. I would say that they have definitely improved and their keeper is spectacular. She looks so comfortable back there. But overall, they played a good game,” Freeman said.

Dunkirk’s keeper, senior Kymi Nance, has a way of making things look easy for the Marauders, which was something else Freeman noticed.

“I don’t think we had too many shots that challenged her, but she’s just so comfortable in goal,” Freeman said. “I came under the impression we moved the ball better against them in our last meeting, so I’m not sure if the difference was the turf or if they were just playing better.”

Olean’s Caroline Carter (left) works to get around Dunkirk’s Olivia Smith during a CCAA West girls soccer game, Tuesday, at Dunkirk High School. OBSERVER Photo by Anthony Dolce.

Olean (9-4-0, 5-3-0) got out to a quick start, scoring just six minutes in on a goal from Lexi Gibbons, which was her first of two goals on the evening, putting her at 12 goals on the year. Gibbons was able to blow by the Dunkirk defenders, showing off her excellent speed while carrying the ball from her own end all the way to the Marauder goal before beating Nance.

Both defenses continued to play well through most of the first half, until the Lady Huskies were able to break through one more time near the end of the first half, as the Huskies got their second goal on a ball that just went through Nance’s glove off a cross.

Dunkirk (0-15, 0-9) would make adjustments in the second half that caused the game to tighten up even more.

“I thought we did a great job with our half time adjustments,” said Dunkirk coach Chris Piede. “We moved Kaitlyn Davis to center back and she did an excellent job containing Gibbons.”

Olean’s lone goal in the second half came off a penalty kick from Leah Williams, marking the only tally of an otherwise equally played half of soccer.

“I was definitely pleased with that. We had a spark on offense in the second half. Angelina Piede made some nice moves, but we just couldn’t break through and get that goal, which has been our achilles heel all year,” Piede said.

The Lady Marauders have one game remaining on the season, against Falconer/Cassadaga Valley in Dunkirk on Tuesday, Oct. 15 for what will be Dunkirk’s Senior Night. Still looking for their first win of the season, Freeman isn’t the only one who has noticed Dunkirk’s improvement. Piede knows his team has done better as well.

“We’re getting there,” Piede said. “We’ve been able to get the girls to buy in to teamwork. We can make up for skill with effort and teamwork and we’re certainly getting there, which helps make up for some of our short comings. We don’t give up. We aren’t just an easy win. I’m proud of them for that.”

As for what Piede expects heading into their final game, he knows his team will be facing one final challenge.

“They have a pair of twins who are really good and gave us some fits. We just have to play the full game and limit our mistakes,” Piede said.

Dunkirk will see Falconer/Cassadaga Valley at 7 p.m. for their senior night next Tuesday, while Olean will see the Fredonia Lady Billies come to town on Thursday, Oct. 10 for a 4:30 p.m. tilt.

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