DuBOIS — The top two girls soccer teams in the Allegheny Christian Athletic Association (ACAA) West Division squared off Monday in DuBois, and it was host DuBois Christian School that came away with a huge 3-1 victory over Blair County Christian.
Both teams entered the game undefeated in division play, with the visiting Lady Bobcats sitting atop the standings with 13 points on the strength of an extra division win. However, it was the host Lady Eagles who found themselves sitting in first place Monday evening after they knocked off the Lady Bobcats, 3-1.
The victory improved DuBois Christian to 4-0-1 in division play (4-1-1 overall) and pulled it even in points (13) with Blair County Christian, which fell to 4-1-1 in the West Division and 5-1-2 overall. The Lady Eagles currently hold first place based on Monday’s head-to-head victory.
The Lady Eagles, who had just 11 healthy players for the key matchup, used a an all-around strong team effort to collect one of its bigger victories in recent memory.
The duo of senior Shelby Brownlee and sophomore Hannah Mowrey fueled the offense. Brownlee netted two goals — one in each half — to give her 87 on her standout career. Mowrey opened the scoring with her first goal of the season, then set up Brownlee’s first score to help give DCS a 2-0 halftime lead.
Blair County Christian pulled within one on a goal 6:46 into the second half, but Brownlee helped seal the victory with her second of the game with 27:16 to play.
The DCS defense did the rest from there. Outside of the one goal, the quartet of sophomore Hannah Deitch, senior Julie Logan, eighth grader Koisha Frazier and seventh grader Grace Deitch cleared away most of the action in front of goalkeeper Emily Deitch. The eighth-grade keeper made five saves in the victory.
“It’s exciting to be in first place. It’s been a while since they have been in first place (in division),” said first-year Lady Eagles coach Nancy Mowrey. “And, it was nice to win a game like this in front of the home crowd.
“It was a good all-around effort by the girls today, especially being without a sub today. They played tough, and they have been playing together well this year. All the girls up front have been doing a good job getting the ball to Shelby in the middle, but have someone different step up and score like we had today will only help us more.”
Not surprisingly, the game opened as a defensive battle with both sides struggling to create open looks.
Neither side had a shot through the first 15 minutes or so, even with DuBois Christian playing with just 10 players for a couple minutes during that stretch when junior Sophia Williamson was forced to come off with a minor injury.
Williamson returned to the game and played a vital role in the midfield along with fellow junior Colesy Brownlee winning 50-50 balls in the midfield. Shortly after Williamson’s return, DCS registered its first shot when Shelby Brownlee outran a lady Bobcat to a long ball.
Brownlee fired a shot but BCC keeper Meredith Dull blocked it with her foot as she ran out to keep it a scoreless game in the 16th minute. Blair County countered with its first real threat just under three minutes later, but Emily Deitch easily stopped a long shot.
DuBois Christian finally cracked the Lady Bobcat defense, and the scoreboard, just past the 22-minute mark. Colesy Brownlee threaded a nice pass through a pack of defenders and Mowrey ran it down on the left side of the goal box. Mowrey wasted little time firing a left-footed shot that beat Dull and found the far side of the net.
The Lady Eagles struck again just over two minutes later when Mowrey made a run into the Blair County box and chipped a shot past Dull. The ball slowly rolled towards the right post, where Shelby Brownlee blasted it home after continuing her run from the right side to make it 2-0 with 15:42 left in the half.
Blair County tried to respond, with Madison Snyder and Keirsten Hileman each putting shots on goal in the final 14 minutes. But, Emily Deitch stopped both attempts to send game to the half with the Lady Eagles leading 2-0.
The Lady Bobcats came out strong to start the second half, with Deitch having to make a save on a long shot just under four minutes in. Blair County kept the pressure on DCS in the opening minutes and came with a much-needed goal in the seventh minute.
A Blair County player ran down a loose ball near the end line, kept it in play and crossed a ball into the box. Sarah McCoy was waiting for the pass and fired a shot past Deitch and into the right side of the net to make it a 2-1 game.
That’s as close as the Lady Bobcats got though, as they mustered just one more shot the rest of the game.
Shelby Brownlee helped ice the victory with her second goal of the game with 27:16 remaining. DuBois Christian kept the pressure on after that score, Dull made four saves over the final 20-plus minutes to keep her team in the game.
Dull denied a shot by Rorrie Maynard near the midway point of the half, then stopped an attempt by Fiona Riss off a corner kick with just under 15:00 to go. Shelby Brownlee had two good chances in the final eight minutes, but Dull stopped a long direct kick by the senior and later a close-range shot.
The Lady Eagles have the opportunity to move into first place outright on points today when they travel to Centre County Christian.