Karns City brings home 24th District 9 girls soccer crown
DUBOIS — Before accomplishing anything on the field in Thursday’s District 9 Class 1A girls soccer championship game against Brockway, Karns City’s players needed to have the right mindset.
The Gremlins had defeated the Rovers, 6-0, in a regular-season meeting in September and overlooking them in the rematch seemed a possibility.
Karns City laid to rest any such fears by controlling play for virtually the entire night and pinned another 6-0 loss on Brockway at DuBois Area High School.
“We knew if we possessed the ball, we’d be successful,” said Karns City coach Tracy Dailey. “We talked about possession and how it has more to do with the receiver than the person with the ball. I thought we did a better job with it in the second half.”
But even by that point, the Gremlins already had staked themselves to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals in the first half from Lyrik Reed in the 10th minute and Hanna Dailey in the 22nd minute.
KC blew the game open with three goals in a three-minute span early in the second half. McKenna Martin shed a defender and beat Brockway goalkeeper Josie Orinko with a shot in the 51st minute.
Cece Morrow and Reed followed with scores for a 5-0 edge.
“We tried to make adjustments to get stronger on defense, but the girls spent so much energy in the first half, I don’t think they had much left,” said Rovers’ coach Juli Esposito. “Karns City won the Class 2A title last year and brought a lot of players back. They’re obviously the best team in the district.”
Emma Dailey capped the scoring following an assist from Morrow in the 68th minute.
Brockway (13-8) forced KC’s Savanna Prescott to make just one save — on a free kick from Eva Bisbey shortly before halftime.
Earlier, the Rovers earned a pair of corner kicks, but both attempts were easily turned away by the Gremlins.
Reed has become another consistent scoring threat on an attack that simply overwhelms most of KC’s opponents.
“I started out a little slow this season, but it has gone well for me,” Reed said. “My shots have gotten better.”
“Having four or five players going forward makes us even more effective,” said Coach Dailey. “It allows us to use different combinations with players of the same caliber.”
Orinko stopped 16 shots. Her backup, Lilly Heilbrun, entered the game late and made one save.
Karns City (17-4) has now won 24 District 9 titles.
“It feels great to be part of another championship,” said Reed, a sophomore, “but it’s a little bittersweet. I really look up to the seniors and it’s going to be tough to see them go.”
But before they do, Karns City will compete in the state playoffs. They will face the District 6 champion Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.