DuBOIS - The Karns City Lady Gremlins edged the Elk County Catholic Lady Crusaders by a 1-0 score Thursday night at the DuBois Area High School field for the District 9 Class A championship.
Karns City will now take on the third-place team from District 7, either Springdale or Greensburg Central Catholic, on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at a site and time to be announced.
Last night’s contest saw the two teams battle to a 0-0 tie at the half.
In the first half, Elk Catholic had three shots on goal to Karns City’s one. For the most part, the first half was played in the middle of the field, with neither team taking charge.
“It took a few minutes for us to get used to the speed of the artificial turf. After that, we played fairly well,” said ECCHS Coach Don Fabiano.
Around the 22-minute mark in the first half, Elk’s Abbi Petrosky had a cross, but there was no one there to connect with it. Ellie Petrosky had a shot go wide left at the 31-minute mark, and a short time later, Hanna McGowan had a shot go wide. A shot by Abbi Petrosky was stopped by Karns City keeper Lauren Downs.
At the 36:30 mark, Elk’s Megan Dornisch came up with a defensive play to stop a Karns City breakaway.
“We played very strong defensively, but that is how we got here. We just weren’t able to cash in tonight,” said Fabiano.
Fabiano noted that the Lady Crusader soccer program is now 0-16 against the Lady Gremlins.
With 3:44 gone in the second half, Karns City’s Emily Holzak scored from the right side, giving the Lady Gremlins the 1-0 lead.
Around the 36-minute mark, a corner kick by Abbi Petrosky was headed toward the goal by Megan Dornisch but missed the mark wide.
The second 40 minutes saw Elk Catholic have five shots on goal to seven by the Lady Gremlins. Elk keeper Karly Carnovale came up with five saves, while Downs came up with one. The Lady Crusaders had three corner kicks to two for the Lady Gremlins.
In the final minutes of play, Elk Catholic pressured the Karns City defense but were unable to get the ball in the goal.
“We were really pressing play in the last 10 to 15 minutes. We had played more defensively to that point,” said Fabiano. “The shot by the Karns City girl was a nice shot to the back post to get the win.”
“There are a lot of other teams working to get into our position. It’s nice to bring young people here for a chance to play for a title,” he added.
The Lady Crusaders finished the year with an 18-1-2 record. The Lady Gremlins are now 17-4.
“In reflection, when the kids look back at it, they’ll see we finished regular season undefeated, won the Bucktail Tournament for the fifth year in a row and won our league for the seventh straight season. They will be able to look back at it with pride,” said Fabiano.
Senior members of the ECCHS squad playing in their final game were Karly Carnovale, Hanna McGowan, Brianna Dornisch, Megan Dornisch, Ellie Petrosky and Dani Catalano.