DuBOIS — Two of the top girls soccer teams in District 9 battled it out for 100 minutes Thursday in DuBois, and in the end the host Lady Beavers and Karns City played to a 2-2 draw at the DuBois Middle School field.
Neither team backed down in what was a very physical and well-played contest throughout.
The visiting Lady Gremlins (7-0-1) grabbed an early lead just past the 3-minute mark, but the Lady Beavers defense settled in from there and held Karns City scoreless for nearly 67 minutes after that.
That defensive effort allowed DuBois to not only get back into the game, but take the lead in the first half on goals by seniors Maddison King and Reese Sayers. The duo assisted on each other’s score.
Dubois took that 2-1 lead into halftime and held it for most of the second half despite playing most of the second 40 minute without sweeper Marissa King. The senior was forced off the field after taking a knock while clearing a ball out of harm’s way in the DuBois box early in the second half.
Fellow Caitlin Drahushak dropped back from midfield to fill the sweeper role to play alongside senior Erika Adamson and junior Ali Martini, who made the start on defense in place of the injured Amanda August. The trio, along with Marissa King, played well as a group all day.
Karns City was finally able to crack the DuBois defense with just over nine minutes left, as Haley Scherer’s second goal of the game evened the score and eventually forced overtime.
Scherer’s goal came about six minutes after Maddison King nearly iced the game for DuBois. King redirected a ball in the box past keeper Olivia Mourer who came racing out. King quickly tracked down the ball and found herself all alone in front the Lady Gremlin net, but she fired a shot wide left.
Sayers nearly gave DuBois the win in the first overtime on a similar play, only this time she beat a defender and Mourer to a loose ball on the left side of the box. She quickly wheeled around Mourer and dribbled the ball in for a few moments before blasting a shot wide right.
Missed opportunities and not getting shots on net plagued the Lady Beavers all game long against one of the traditional powers in D-9 soccer. Mourer made just four saves in the game, with all four coming in the two extra sessions. Outside of the two goals, DuBois had six shots in regulation that were either just wode or high of the net.
DuBois keeper Emily Cherubini was much busier in net, as she made12 saves to help keep her team in the game. Nine of those saves came in regulation, with the other three coming in the first overtime.
Cherubini was forced to leave the game for a moment early in the second overtime, but Karlee Leithner did her job in net until Cherubini returned.
The double-overtime tie was the second in a row for the Lady Beavers (5-2-2), who played to a 4-4 draw at Hollidaysburg on Tuesday.
“They are always a very good team and are always in the playoffs, and the last few years they have beat us 4-1, 5-1, 6-1 — scores something like that,” said DuBois coach Dave Martin. “This was our best performance against them in a while. I know they lost a lot 9from last year), and I think we’re both still trying to figure things out.
“Our girls started out a little slow, ad we had to kpee telling them to trust themselves and play our ball. And, as soon as we became more assertive and going towards the ball, we forced them to make mistakes and make the bad passes and went controlled the tempo.
“We had our chances tonight, but we just didn’t take advantange of the opportunities we had. That’s something we’re always working on, especially when it really counts.
“I’m very happy and very proud of the girls of how they played though. They wanted to win of course, but the girls were all upbeat and happy too with the way they played.”
Scherer put Karns City up 1-0 just 3:07 into the game when she scored on a rebound. Cherubini made the initial save on a hard shot by Scherer, but the ball came right back to the Lady Gremlin and she buried her second attempt.
Teammate Hannah Knoll nearly made it 2-0 just past the 10-minute mark, but her shot clanged off the right post. Perhaps that near miss woke up the Lady Beavers some, as just over two minute later they evened the score.
Sayers played a long ball behind the Karns City defense that Maddison King ran down, then fired a high shot over top Mourer to knot things at 1-1 at the 12:31 mark. The shot was DuBois’ first of the game.
The Lady Beavers didn’t get off another attempt until Sayers scored off a long pass from King just under nine minutes later. Sayers scored in a similar fashion, as she arched a shot over Mourer to make it 2-1 and two goals on two shots for the Lady Beavers.
Cherubini made two nice saves over the final 16 minutes, including one on a long direct kick by Knoll. Sayers had a chance to extend DuBois’ lead just before the half, she had an open look in on front of the net sail just high.
Karns City turned up the pressure to open the second half, but Cherubini made three saves in the opening nine minutes to preserve the one-goal lead.
DuBois grabbed the momentum back just past the midway point of the second half. King had three scoring chances, but unfortunately for the Lady Beaver all three were off the mark to left, including her strong individual effort to get past Mourer.
Both sides had chances to win the game in the two overtime periods, but neither team was able to find the back of the net to pull out the victory.
DuBois is back in action Tuesday at home against Indiana.