Smelling an upset, the Borgia soccer Lady Knights struck first Friday at home against Duchesne in Archdiocesan Athletic Association girls soccer action.

Senior Emily Grahl’s long run through the Duchesne defense gave the Lady Knights a 1-0 lead over the defending Class 1 state champion with 26:35 to play in the first half.

“We surprised Duchesne by scoring the first goal of the game, and further surprised them by playing them very evenly the first half,” Borgia Head Coach Grant Kang said. “Everyone stepped up and made the plays they needed to make.”

But the lead lasted just 3:18 and Duchesne rallied to win the game, 3-1.

Borgia dropped to 4-8 overall and 1-3 in the AAA Large Division with the loss.

The Lady Knights play in the Francis Howell/St. Dominic Tournament this week, starting with a game against Ursuline Tuesday.

The other pool games, also at St. Dominic, will be against Villa Duchesne Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and Francis Howell Central Friday at 3:30 p.m.

The Lady Knights play a league game against Rosati-Kain Saturday at 1 p.m.

at Saint Louis University High School.

In Friday’s game against Duchesne, Borgia got a lightning bolt to strike first. Senior Janie Arand found Grahl near midfield and the SIU-Edwardsville recruit took care of the rest, using her speed and footwork to weave through the Duchesne defense and then fire it into the net.

But that lead didn’t last long.

Brigitte Reilly fired in a high, looping shot to tie it at 1-1 with 23:17 left in the half.

Courtney Reimer then smashed home a pass from in front of the goal with 5:04 to play to make it 2-1 at the half.

“We had a bad period where we gave up two goals,” Kang said. “Against a team like Duchesne, that makes it very hard to recover. We still created several opportunities to tie the score, so the outcome of the game was still very much in doubt. I was very proud of the effort by our players.”

The Lady Pioneers added a third goal during the last 20 seconds of action to make the final 3-1.