BROCKWAY — The Brockway and DuBois Central Cathlic girls soccer teams met in a rematch in last year’s District 9 Class A title game Monday night at Frank Varischetti Field, and it was the defending champion Lady Rovers who came away with a 7-0 victory.
It marked the Lady Rovers’ second straight shutout win over DCC, as they blanked the Lady Cardinals 2-0 in last year’s district finals.
Both teams graduated several key players from that championship game battle, with Brockway returning the more experienced squad.
Despite all its losses, Central Catholic made Monday’s matchup much closer than the final score would indicate.
The Lady Cardinals actually held Brockway in check for a large portion of the first half, as the defensive battle was reminiscent of last year’s title contest.
And, just like last year, it was Brockway that finally broke through. A season ago it was a late first-half goal by Leah Lindemuth that helped propel the Lady Rovers to their first D-9 title in what was a close game throughout.
On Monday, it was Lady Rover sophomore Chanell Britten who broke the ice when she scored off an assist from Katie McMeekin with 13:12 left in the half.
The goal by Britten, who sealed the Lady Rovers’ victory a year ago with a second-half score, opened the flood gates for Brockway.
Brockway, which mustered just one shot in the first 26:48 Monday, proceeded to score four goals on its next five shots after Britten’s opener to all but put the Lady Cardinals away before the half.
Brockway added two more scores in the final 40 minutes to finish off the lopsided victory in its home opener.
Britten netted a hat-trick while adding an assist to lead the Brockway attack.
“We started out a little slow,” said Brockway coach Jess Leadbetter. “Being the home field opener and waiting around all day to play — watching the boys play and then the junior high game. They were having fun with warmups, and I think it was just a combination of everything and getting those first home game jitters out.
“The girls even said at halftime it started out a little rough and took them a while to get things figured out. After that, I think they started to put a lot of passes together and plays together and started to play their soccer.
“I think they’re a little relieved to get the home field jitters out. We have another home game on Wednesday, and I’m hoping that will be a good game.”
Brockway had the first scoring chance of the night six minutes in, but Leah Lindemuth had a shot stopped by DCC keeper MacKenzie Manning.
It was all DCC from there over the next 10 minutes, as the Lady Cardinals put pressure on the Brockway net.
However, Lady Rover keeper Mackenzie Overbeck and her defense were up to the challenge. She stopped four Lady Cardinals shot during that stretch, including two by Rachel Aravich.
Brockway finally cracked the DCC defense in the 26th minute when Katie McMeekin slipped a long pass down the left hash on the football field. Britten ran down the ball and fired home a shot to make it 1-0.
The goal seemed to breathe some life back into the Lady Rovers, who scored two more times on their next two shots over a span of three-plus minutes.
Freshman Morgan Lindemuth scored the first of those goals off a pass from Emma Cavalline with 11:15 left in the half. Just over a minute later, Britten set up a goal by sophomore Emily Botwright.
It looked like Brockway would take a 4-0 lead into the break, but Lady Rover sophomore Morrigan Decker scored on a long-range shot from the 25-yard line on the football field.
Decker’s shot got over top a leaping Manning and snuck in under the crossbar with 28 seconds left on the first-half clock.
Brockway carried the momentum from its late surge in the first half over into the second half and controlled the final 40 minutes of play.
Britten completed her hat-trick when she scored 6:38 into the second, while sophomore Taylor Little netted her first varsity goal with 3:59 to play to set the final at 7-0.
In between those goals, Brockway limited DCC to just two second-half shots, with Overbeck stopping one. She made four saves overall in recording the shutout.
“We were the underdog, and we’re really proud of how long we held them off,” said DCC coach Dawn Bressler. “The girls really played their hearts out, and we’re very proud of them.”
Both teams are back in action Wednesday.
Brockway (3-0) hosts Curwensville for a 7 p.m., while DuBois Central Catholic travels to Brookville.