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Defense Comes Up Big For Karns City in 2-0 Boys Soccer Win Over Redbank Valley

KARNS CITY, Pa. (EYT/D9) — The Redbank Valley boys soccer team has a lot of firepower.

(Above, Karns City junior Lucas Yasika had seven saves in the shutout win over Redbank Valley)

Owen Clouse set the single-season record for goals scored last season. Owen Harmon also finds the back of the net as a matter of routine. Ty Carrier is also a threat to score.

It was a supreme challenge for the Karns City defense and junior goalkeeper Lucas Yasika.

The Gremlins answered that challenge with a 2-0 shutout win on Thursday night.

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

Yasika had seven saves. Most of them were difficult as Redbank and Karns City played even for most of the match.

“Last year as a sophomore, (Yasika) started every game,” said Karns City coach Justin Ryan. “He had some hiccups here and there, but this year he’s really put the work in to improve. He’s stepped in this year and taken charge.”

The two teams played to a scoreless tie in the first half.

Both teams had chances. Both teams were turned away.

The weather was also a factor with heavy winds and rain throughout the first 40 minutes.

“In the first half it was a little scary with all the rain and stuff — the gloves were a little slippery,” Yasika said. “But in the second half I felt more comfortable with the wind in our favor. I feel like that was a big help.

Finally, about 15 minutes into the second half, Jacob Callihan broke the stalemate with a goal to give the Gremlins a 1-0 lead.

It’s a precarious advantage against a team as potent as Redbank.

Yasika was well aware of that.

“It’s definitely a big relief when you score that first goal,” Yasika said. “Even though you’re up one, there’s still that pressure.”

Yasika handled it well.

And so did Karns City, which held off Redbank’s increased pressure.

Adam Smith gave the Gremlins some breathing room with a little less than five minutes remaining in the match with a goal to make it 2-0.

“I was about to just start blitzing down here and then the ball went right into the middle and the kid was right there,” said Redbank Valley coach Ty Scott. “That was kind of deflating. But we didn’t give up. We didn’t hang our heads. We continued to play to the whistle.”

Scott also lamented the opportunities that his Bulldogs weren’t able to finish.

“We just didn’t capitalize. I wish we did,” Scott said. “They wish they did.

“I told them that this was the best team we play all year, and I was right,” Scott added. “We had a zero up there because we didn’t capitalize and they did on our two mistakes. We’re not going to hang our heads because we lost to Karns City.”

The Gremlins also have some potent scorers.

Now the defense looks just as formidable going forward.

“It definitely gives me confidence,” Yasika said. “It gives me more assurance that when I get some of the harder shots, I can handle them.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

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