CLARION — Finding itself in another underdog position, the Brookville Lady Raiders soccer team was unable to replicate last week’s upset of St. Marys in Tuesday night’s Class 2A Championship game at Clarion University’s Memorial Stadium.
But the Lady Raiders kept it close, holding off Karns City’s massive field position edge in a 1-0 loss. The game’s lone goal came on Olivia Rumbaugh’s shot off a crossing pass from Maura King at the 17:33 mark of the first half.
From there, Brookville could only mount a few rushes to the Karns City end of the field as it was outshot 9-1. The only shot came from Madison McAninch in the second half.
“We wanted to come out defensive and we did that. We did that the whole night,” said Lady Raiders head coach Kaitlyn Hill, whose team finished the year at 9-10. “Every single one of those girls played their butts off and played with intensity and unfortunately we didn’t get the goal and that’s how soccer goes. Sometimes it’s just a one-point difference and that’s what happened today.
“I’m very proud of the girls. They played super-hard and they practiced super-hard until the end. Unfortunately it didn’t go into our favor.”
Karns City, meanwhile, improved to 13-4 and yet another district title. Since 1995, 24 seasons, the Lady Gremlins have won a whopping 20 championships. It’s now seven straight years covering two different classifications, 10 of the last 11 years and 19 of 20.
Five of those have come against Brookville — this year, 2008, 2004 and 2003. Hill was a freshman on the 2008 team that lost 3-2 in the final.
Karns City opens the state playoffs next Tuesday against the District 10 runner-up at a site and time to be announced.
The Lady Gremlins outshot Brookville, 9-1, and owned a 6-0 corner kick advantage. Lady Raiders goalkeeper Avery Gilhousen made seven saves.
Last week’s 2-1 upset of St. Marys, which beat Brookville by a combined 11-0 in two regular-season games, really highlighted the season for Hill’s team and she saw it lift her team’s morale, not only for the Karns City final but moving forward.
“It meant everything. We shocked every team we played. We shocked ourselves,” she said. “I knew they could do it. It was a matter of putting everything together and we did. And tonight we put everything together. It just didn’t come out on top and that’s how soccer is.
“(Monday’s) practice was fantastic,” she added. “The girls were eager to keep playing and they want to keep playing. We didn’t think tonight would be the last night, but it was.”