The Conemaugh Township Indians won their third straight District 5-A girls soccer championship at Somerset Area High School in the first game of doubleheader with a 3-0 victory over North Star.
In the nightcap, Windber captured its first district crown with a 1-0 shootout win over Conemaugh Township in the 5-A boys title match.
For the Indians, the district gold was their fifth in the last six years and 13th title since 1998. This year’s championship was aided by a strong second-half effort on the offensive end of the field.
Constant pressure by the Indians resulted in their first goal with 12:41 remaining as Gabrielle Williams scored on a header via a corner-kick assist by Chloe Reese.
“We had to step in up in the second half,” Conemaugh Township coach Fred Galiote said. “North Star always plays us tough. We had to keep the ball wide and get our crosses to work.”
Hustle from Allyson Lonas made her assist on the Indians’ second goal possible when she dribbled through North Star defenders and passed to Leah Sprock, who put the ball in the lower right corner.
The goal was the first playoff goal for Sprock, who subbed in with 8:27 remaining after a yellow card was given to the Indians, forcing the substitution. The goal occurred just 31 seconds later.
A Lonas redirection of a Reese corner kick from the right side from the right side set the final with 4:50 remaining.
The Cougars carried the play in the first half, but some chronic injuries to a few of their players disrupted their continuity on defense.
“We became a little too defensive and stopped taking shots,” North Star coach Renee Lepley indicated. “We are a young team with only three seniors on the field, so we hope to be back next year.”
Conemaugh Township will face Sewickley Academy, the District 7 runner-up on Tuesday.
In the second game, the Ramblers captured the 5-A title by virtue of Jesse Sloan’s goal in the second shootout round. Sloan was Windber’s ninth shooter.
Both teams battled through regulation play and two 15-minute overtimes and a 3-3 draw after the first shootout round.
Each team had several scoring chances with both goalkeepers making nice saves.
Scoring goals in the shootout round for the Indians were Ben Wilson, James Bassette, Clayton Blough, Isaac Callihan, and Luke Hostetler. Windber countered with goals from Jacob Hanley, Stephen Thomas, Adan Feather, Matt Kot, Kevin Charney, and Sloan’s game winner.
Windber’s Brett Hoffman noted: “Integrity, Character and Success was a major part of their season’s successful regular season and this title”
Windber will play Biglerville (3-2) on Tuesday night in Somerset in the second game of the interdistrict doubleheader.
“We will lose four seniors and hope to rebound next year,” Indians coach Chris Miller said. “The shootout is a tough way to lose a game.”