By Chris Rossetti
DUBOIS, Pa. – Prior to 7 p.m. Wednesday night, the Brockway girls’ soccer team had never been in a District 9 championships game. By 9 p.m., the Lady Rovers had a District 9 championship plaque.
Goals by Leah Lindemuth and Chanell Britten helped second-seeded Brockway to a 2-0 win over top-seeded DuBois Central Catholic in the D9 Class 1A title game at the turf field at DuBois High School. It was the third matchup of the year between the rivals but the first win for Brockway, which lost by scores of 3-0 and 2-1 in the regular season.
“Their goal from the beginning of the season was, of course, Districts, and going for that championship,” first-year Brockway head coach Jessica Leadbetter said. “Every time we played Central, they just kept chipping away at that score. They’ve been saying since the second game, ‘we are going to see them in the championship game.’ They’ve been working hard, and they knew in their heads and their hearts that they could beat them.”
Watch Brockway receive its championship plaque
Right out of the gate it looked like it was going to be all DCC, as the Lady Cardinals dominated the first five minutes of the game including earning a pair of corner kicks as well as having a shot by Jordy Frank hit off the middle of the crossbar.
But after that, it was really all Brockway (14-4) with the Lady Rovers taking the attack to the DCC side of the field the rest of the half.
That pressure was rewarded for the Lady Rovers in the first second of the 36th minute when Lindemuth took a cross from Morrigan Decker and buried the header behind DCC goalie Riley Assalone to give Brockway a 1-0 lead at halftime.
“We knew coming in, Central is a tough team,” Leadbetter said. “They worked hard. They deserved to be here. I told them, if we would score first, that would be big. That would be a big momentum changer. I think after that first five minutes it really clicked in that they needed to get that possession back.”
Lindemuth and senior captain Lauren Duttry talked about winning the title and the game moments after receiving their championship medals.
With the 1-0 lead in the second half, Brockway didn’t let off the gas pushing things early and getting three quality scoring chances in the first 16 minutes of the half that were stopped by Assalone.
DCC (17-1-1) finally got a chance to tie the game when it was awarded a corner in the 57th minute.
Riley Meyers took the corner but Brockway freshman keeper Mackenzie Overbeck, despite some late contact, was able to corral the ball and keep the lead at one.
The Lady Rovers were rewarded for the save a few minutes later when Britten, another freshman, took a pass from Adriana Azzato and found the right corner where the post meets the crossbar hitting it and having the ball carom behind Assalone for a 2-0 Brockway lead.
“It’s big. It’s pretty big,” Leadbetter said. “They boys (team) do an awesome job every year. It’s so great to see the girls support for them and then this year the boys support for them. It’s awesome to see everyone coming together. The girls finally get what they have been working for all season.”
Watch the Lady Rovers receive their championship medals
Down by two, DCC tried to ratchet up the pressure and got some good looks from Meyers, including one that required Overbeck to make a diving save in the 71st minute.
But despite the extra pressure and the extra bodies brought up on offense, Overbeck and the Lady Rovers defense was up to the challenge, and as time wound down the celebration for Brockway began.
Both teams advance to the PIAA playoffs.
Brockway will play the third-place team out of the WPIAL, Vincentian Academy, which beat Bentworth, 4-2, in the WPIAL consolation game Wednesday.
DCC will face the WPIAL champion, either Shady Side Academy or Greensburg Central Catholic. Those teams square off at 11 a.m. Saturday at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh.
BROCKWAY 2, DUBOIS CENTRAL CATHOLIC 0
Score by Half
Brockway 1 1 – 2
DCC 0 0 – 0
B – Leah Lindemuth assisted by Morrigan Decker, 36th minute
B – Chanell Britten assisted by Adriana Azzato, 65th minute
B – Mackenzie Overbeck
D – Riley Assalone