ST. MARYS – The Elk County Catholic Lady Crusaders broke open a close game in the second half Thursday at Benzinger Park on their way to a 5-0 varsity girls' soccer victory over the Kane Lady Wolves.
Freshman Julia Sweeney scored once and set up two other scores in the second half outburst for ECC.
"These young players are coming around well," said Lady Crusaders coach Don Fabiano. "It is so nice to see these players having success on the field."
Despite outshooting Kane 8-4 in the first half, the Lady Crusaders were only able to grab a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Jordan Lenox scored her first varsity goal with 25:42 left on the clock on a centering pass from senior Jena Struble.
"We were doing some things right in the first half," Fabiano said. "We were just not getting the finishes on our scoring chances that we would have liked."
Kane pressed the action in the ECC end of the field at the beginning of the first half and in the closing moments before halftime, but could not score. Coming out of halftime, it was all Lady Crusaders.
ECC scored twice in the first five minutes and 10 seconds of the second half. Freshman Erin Petrosky set up her sister - senior Abbi Petrosky - for the game's second tally with 35:40 left. Then just 50 seconds later, senior first-year player Jessica Franco got her first varsity goal, deflecting in a kick from Sweeney.
Sweeney would score with 29 minutes to play on a pass from sophomore Michaela Cashmer. Sweeney would then assist on the final goal when junior Kendra Dornisch finished a cross into the net with 20:29 left in the game.
"We can certainly be happy with the way these young players are coming along," said Fabiano. "They are getting great support from veteran players like Abbi Petrosky and Jena Struble in the attacking zone, plus Michelle Imbrogno and Morgan Onink in the defensive areas."
Freshman Hanna Onink was in net for the Lady Crusaders, picking up her second shutout of the young season.
"Obviously there is a long way to go," said Fabiano. "We are not yet consistent with our play throughout the game. It will come."
The victory raised ECC's mark to 2-1. The Lady Crusaders will be home again Monday afternoon at Benzinger Park in a 4 p.m. game against Brookville.