The Elk County Catholic Crusader soccer team handed the Ridgway Elkers a 5-1 setback on Thursday evening in a match played at Angela Huey Memorial Field in Kersey. With the win, Elk Catholic improves to 10-4-1 on the season.
The Crusaders dominated possession of the ball from the start of the game, but Ridgway keeper Jesse Schneider kept the ball out of the net until almost the midway point of the first half. Elk Catholic's Mitchel Haberberger also made a few nice saves to keep the Elkers scoreless throughout the first half.
Elk Catholic's Sam Mosebarger finally found the back of the net with 20:58 remaining in the half to put the Crusaders up 1-0. Less than five minutes later, Peter Pontzer extended the Crusaders' lead to 2-0 with a goal with 17:40 remaining.
Jacob Herbstritt then helped seal the victory for the Crusaders, scoring three goals in the span of about 10 minutes for a hat trick. Herbstritt's goals, which came with 10:49, 8:27 and 1:45 remaining, respectively, put the Crusaders up 5-0 headed into halftime.
The Crusaders honored their senior players and their parents in a halftime ceremony.
Elk Catholic pulled most of their starters for the second half, with Mitchell Gahr taking over for Haberberger as keeper.
The second half was a physical one for both teams, and Crusader Sebastian Dilly drew a yellow card for reckless challenge with 27 minutes remaining. Less than 10 minutes later the Elkers finally made it onto the board when Luke Bobby put the ball past Gahr with 19:14 remaining to cut the Crusaders' lead to 5-1, which is how it remained through the end of the game.
The Crusaders will return to action on Monday afternoon when they travel to Curwensville for a 4 p.m. make-up game.