BROCKWAY, Pa. (EYT/D9)— Karns City was down.
But not out.
Trailing 1-0 late in the first half in the District 9 Class A boys soccer final, Hobie Bartoe drew the Gremlins even with a goal with 10 minutes remaining in the half and then Myles McCully scored what turned out to be the winner midway through the second half to lift Karns City to the 2-1 win at Frank Varischetti Field on Tuesday night.
Lucas Yasika, as he’s done all season, helped preserve the win in goal with a series of saves in the final minutes.
He stopped six ECC shots in the final 12 minutes.
It’s the third consecutive district championship for Karns City and its first in Class A since 2015.
Bartoe almost didn’t play soccer this season for Karns City.
A point guard on the basketball team who filled in admirably last winter when Taite Beighley missed a few games because of injury, Bartoe decided to join the team late.
He had five goals coming into the championship match.
His sixth was among his biggest.
Anthony Messineo put Elk County Catholic up 1-0 quickly, just two minutes into the match.
After that, Karns City’s defense and keeper Yasika pitched a shutout.
That has been Karns City’s hallmark this season: defense. That and a balanced attack that doesn’t rely on one or two players to find the back of the net regularly.
“That’s definitely been our thing all year,” said first-year coach Justin Ryan last week after a win over Ridgway. “We haven’t really relied on one person. I think our leading scorer has 14 or 15 goals, which is probably the lowest number for us in quite a while. But we’ve probably have four or five who are around 10.”
That has served the Gremlins well this season.
They hope it continues to serve them well when they open the PIAA Class A playoffs on Tuesday.