Ellie Petrosky of the Elk County Catholic Lady Crusaders soccer team scored the winning goal with 1:39 remaining in the game to pull out an exciting 3-2 victory over the Lady Dutch of St. Marys Area High School in a match held at the Benzinger Park soccer field. Petrosky finished a slotted ball from freshman Emma Daghir for the game winner.
"This (ECC) team has certainly not been short on drama lately," said Lady Crusaders coach Don Fabiano after the game. "That's the second time in the last three games we had to rally in the second half for a win," he added.
"I was quite happy with the team effort today," said St. Marys Area Coach Kelly Carr following the game. "The girls were passing and communicating well today. They played a great game, despite the fact that we didn't get the outcome we would have liked."
"Each and every one of the girls should be proud of the way they played today," added Carr.
St. Marys got off to a 2-0 lead before halftime. Junior Stephanie Yetzer curled a corner kick into the goal with 14:47 on the clock. Then senior Brittany Orr found junior Lauren Challingsworth with a pass, and the latter scored from about 40 yards out with 2:39 until the break.
The Lady Crusaders then scored two goals in 90 seconds wrapped around halftime. Junior Abbi Petrosky knocked in a rebound off a penalty kick with only 56 seconds left in the first period. Abbi Petrosky would score again just 34 seconds into the second half with an assist from her sister, Ellie Petrosky.
The game would then go silent offensively until the closing moments.
"The St. Marys goalie (junior Mia Keener) made some great saves," said Fabiano. Keener had 12 saves on 26 ECC shots at goal. The Lady Dutch finished with five shots.
"The field actually tilted in St. Marys' favor for quite a while in the second half," said Fabiano.
The Lady Dutch kept ECC locked in their end from midway in the second 40 until around the five-minutes-to-play mark.
"They (Lady Dutch) had us back on our heels," continued Fabiano.
The Lady Dutch had a series of corner kicks and a couple shots on goal, but could not put a score into the net during that time.
Down the stretch, the ECCHS squad had several shots on goal that were either blocked or wide of the mark until Ellie Petrosky finally found the net with 1:39 left in the game.
The victory raises ECC's record to 15-0-1 and all but guarantees the team the first seed in the District 9 Class A playoffs. With only two games left in the season, there are no other Class A teams with fewer than four losses. "It's a great honor to enter the playoffs (as) number one," commented Fabiano. "We (ECC) just got to get some of these nagging injuries and sniffles behind us and continue to improve our game."
St. Marys Area is now 8-6 on the season will host the Ridgway Lady Elkers on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. The Lady Dutch will also begin preparing for the District AA playoffs.
The Lady Crusaders return to action Tuesday at Port Allegany starting at 4 p.m.