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Another Crown: Karns City Girls Soccer Team Topples Brockway to Win Class A Title

DuBOIS, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Even though the Karns City girls soccer team dominated play in the first half of the District 9 Class A final against Brockway on Thursday night, the Gremlins weren’t all that comfortable with a 2-0 lead at intermission.

“It’s never good to be up 2-0,” said senior Addie Christie, smiling. “It’s like the worst lead to have in soccer. They come out and score a goal and they have a lot of momentum going forward.”

Karns City didn’t let that happen.

Instead the Gremlins scored three goals in a span of three minutes early in the second half to put the match away in cruising to a 6-0 win over Brockway to win the D9 title at DuBois High School.

“We got that third goal and I was like, ‘Sweet!’” said Christie, a senior defender, grinning again. “And they just kept coming after that. I definitely felt like we could all see we were going to win.”

And win Karns City did — something that is a bit of a habit for the Gremlins.

It was the second straight championship for Karns City and its first in Class A since 2015 — the last time the school was in that classification.

It’s also the 10th title in the last 11 years for the program and an astonishing 24th crown in the last 28 seasons.

“I remember watching them when I was little, winning D9 and I was like, ‘Oh, I want to be just like them and carry on that legacy,’” said senior Emma Dailey. “To finally have a third one under our belt, it’s just awesome.”

Karns City lost to Clearfield in 2020, but avenged that defeat with a thrilling 3-2 overtime win last season on a penalty kick.

This title didn’t have the same drama — or stress.

The Gremlins controlled play against Brockway (13-8) from the opening kickoff and peppered Rover keeper Josie Orinko with shot after shot.

Orinko stopped 13 of them in the first half.

“We put up a fight,” said Brockway coach Juli Esposito. “They’re the best team in District 9, obviously. I’m very proud of our team. We lost to Brookville twice in the regular season and beat them in the quarterfinals. We lost to Elk County Catholic 3-0 in the regular season and beat them in the semis, which was a really big upset. It really pumped them up.”

And it also caused Karns City to take pause.

The Gremlins beat Brockway, 6-0, during the regular season. They didn’t want to fall in the same postseason trap Brookville and ECC did.

“I’ll tell you, coming in I was nervous,” said Karns City coach Tracy Dailey. “It’s never easy to see a team the second time around. I told the girls that we had to win the mental battle, stay focused and stay disciplined. I think we did that more in the second half than we did in the first.”

Lyrik Reed finally broke the ice with a goal in the 10th minute with a perfectly placed shot off her left foot into the top right corner of the net over the lunging Orinko.

In the 22nd minute, Hanna Dailey made it 2-0 and it stayed that way until 11 minutes into the second half when McKenna Martin began a flurry of goals when she punched a shot past the diving keeper for a 3-0 lead.

Less than a minute later, Cece Morrow found the back of the net. Less than two minutes after that, Reed scored again to make it 5-0.

Emma Dailey closed the scoring with a goal in the 68th minute.

Brockway had just one shot on goal in the entire match.

Reed, a sophomore forward, has elevated her game this season, using her speed and her ability to take shots with either foot to become yet another dangerous weapon on the pitch for the Gremlins.

“She’s dynamic off the ball. Dynamic on the ball,” Tracy Dailey said of Reed. “She likes her left foot, but there’s no dominant side anymore.”

“It’s very satisfying,” Reed said of her breakout season. “It’s kind of bittersweet because I looked up to the seniors like McKenna, but it feels amazing. I work really well with McKenna and Emma. We just really clicked this year and our speed has helped us dominate.”

Karns City’s strength on the defensive end has also helped its offense.

“We’re become more dangerous than just Emma and McKenna,” Tracy Dailey said. “You can look at our midfield and even at our defenders, getting them involved. Hanna has stepped up in the midfield. Aubrey Price has stepped up and defensively, we’re very sounds, which allows us to bring them forward with Paige Dodd and Shali Slater and Ava Kamenski. It’s a coach’s dream, truly, to be able to move players and press forward.”

Morrow had two assists and Christie and Reed also had assists for the Gremlins.

Karns City (17-4) will play District 6 champion Penns Valley in the first round of the PIAA Class A playoffs on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.