KARNS CITY, Pa. (EYT/D9) — It’s all been leading to this.
For almost a year, the Karns City girls soccer team has been itching for another shot at Clearfield, another opportunity to play the Bison and get the bitter taste of defeat in the 2020 District 9 Class 2A championship match off their palates.
(Above, Karns City’s Emma Dailey)
The Gremlins will get that chance.
Karns City took care of business against St. Marys at Diehl Stadium Wednesday night, scoring five first-half goals and seven in the first 43 minutes on the way to a 9-0 win.
Clearfield also took care of business in the other semifinal, drubbing Brookville, 10-0.
The two teams appeared to be on a collision course to meet again in the district final all the way back in the dog days of August. And now in the chill of autumn, they will meet Nov. 4 at Brockway with the title on the line.
“I hope they have a little bit of a chip on their shoulder,” said Karns City coach Tracy Dailey about her team, many of whom are still nursing the wound of that 5-4 loss a year ago. “They should be ticked off we lost last year. I hope they come in with that relentless attitude.”
Karns City (14-3) was relentless against overmatched St. Marys (11-7-1).
Emma Dailey scored four goals, McKenna Martin added two more and assisted on two others, and Taylor Miller, Avah Burke and freshman Rylee Miller also found the back of the net in the rout.
Emma Dailey had many more opportunities to score, but misfired on a few of those chances.
No worries. The junior was undaunted and unflustered on her way to her hat trick, plus one.
“It all comes with patience,” she said. “Sometimes I get in my head a little bit.”
Emma Dailey scored 15 minutes into the match to get the Gremlins underway. She scored again nine minutes later for a 2-0 lead.
That’s when the avalanche started.
McKenna Martin was tripped in the box, but buried the penalty kick in the 31st minute for a 3-0 lead. Taylor Miller bent a beautiful shot into the back of the net in the 37th minute and then a minute later, Martin scored again to send Karns City into the half up 5-0.
The barrage continued at the start of the second half. Avah Burke and Dailey scored just two minutes apart at the start of the half for a 7-0 advantage.
Dailey added her fourth goal midway through the half.
“You know, you never want to play a team twice knowing that you beat them the first time,” Tracy Dailey said. “That always makes me nervous as a coach because you’re worried the girls are going to come in thinking it’s a cakewalk. And, you know, on any given day, any team can beat any team, so I was very pleased with our performance tonight. We came in and played our game.”
St. Marys played Karns City tough in the first 20 minutes, which pleased Dutch coach Samantha Zimmerman.
Especially with a substitute keeper.
Anna Ludin was in goal for the injured Olivia Eckels, who was in a walking boot. Ludin turned away six shots early before Karns City broke through.
“Anna stepped it up and she came out strong and confident,” Zimmerman said. “She played really well in there. I give her credit for that. We were really battling that first 20 minutes, and I was proud of the girls.”
The next 60 were problematic, however.
“We know when we play Karns City it’s going to be a challenge,” Zimmerman said. “We knew coming in they had wheels and they had the aggression and game-smarts.”
Karns City hopes those qualities come out again against its old nemesis.
The Gremlins will have seven days to think about the loss last year and prepare.
They’ve already started.
“(Wednesday) I was watching film in school of the game against Clearfield (last year),” Emma Dailey said. “I knew we had to go out and prove ourselves against St. Marys. Clearfield better watch out. We’re coming.”
CLEARFIELD 10, BROOKVILLE 0 — The rematch was set up by another blowout win by the undefeated Bison (19-0).
Ellie Smith scored three goals and also had three assists, and Emma Hipps and Megan Hamm each scored a pair of goals in the victory.
Smith has scored 47 goals and Hipps 35 for Clearfield this season. The Bison have found the back of the net 133 times as a team.