KERSEY – The colder weather on Thursday evening did not deter a sizable crowd from gathering at Angela Huey Memorial Field in Kersey to watch a boys' soccer match between the Elk County Catholic and St. Marys Area squads. They were not disappointed, as they were treated to a good, old-fashioned cross-town rivalry match-up between the two schools that ended with the Crusaders winning in overtime 2-1.
"St. Marys versus ECC is always a game for the fans and there was no disappointment tonight," said ECC assistant coach T.J. Weaver. "The Dutch came out to play tonight."
"From the start, the game was back and forth," Weaver added. "We managed to capitalize on one more opportunity. Any overtime contest is exciting for the players and fans."
"It was a good game and a tough one to lose," said St. Marys Area coach Russ Micale. "The boys played well. They played hard the whole game."
It was a total team effort on both sides of the ball, as neither school wanted to let the other have an advantage. Elk Catholic keeper Corey Huff and St. Marys Area keeper Brett Lanzel both were kept on their toes as they put in good efforts throughout the match, with each allowing only one goal in regulation.
The Crusaders took the early lead with 20:16 remaining in the first half when Jake Herbstritt found the back of the net. Elk Catholic carried the 1-0 lead into halftime.
St. Marys had four corner kicks in the first half and five shots on goal, while ECC had one corner kick and three shots on goal.
St. Marys was able to tie the game at 1-all with 24:12 remaining in regulation when Matt Hoffman put the ball by Huff.
Though both teams put in a valiant effort, neither was able to gain an advantage during the remainder of the half and the game went into overtime. Elk Catholic had two corner kicks and two shots on goal during the second half, while St. Marys had two corner kicks and four shots on goal.
The overtime period continued to be a back-and-forth affair, with both teams still trying to secure an advantage. As the clock wound down to mere seconds remaining, it looked as though a second overtime period would be needed; however, with only 6.7 seconds remaining, Herbstritt was again able to sneak the ball past Lanzel to give the Crusaders the 2-1 victory.
"We are moving in a forward direction and looking forward to our next contest with Johnsonburg on Tuesday," Weaver said. "We wish the Dutch the best and good luck on the season."
With the win, Elk Catholic is now 6-0 and will return to action on Tuesday evening as they play host to the Johnsonburg Rams in a 7 p.m. match.
The loss makes St. Marys Area 3-2. They will travel to Kane on Tuesday for a 4 p.m. match.