The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

HS Sports Richland

November 4, 2012

Bishop McCort girls wear District 6-A crown

JOHNSTOWN — Had Saturday’s District 6 Class A girls soccer championship been determined by offensive opportunities instead of the scoreboard, the District 6-A crown may have come to rest on another head.

Putting just two shots on net, the Bishop McCort Crimson Crushers used another clean sheet from junior goalkeeper Mackenzie Barbin and a second-half goal from Cecelia Stasko on their way to a 1-0 win over rival Richland on Saturday at Trojan Stadium.

Bishop McCort, which also topped Richland by 1-0 scores on Sept. 20 and Oct. 15, captured its first District 6 title since 2007.

 “We had maybe two shots on net and we put one in,” Bishop McCort coach Rebekah Walter said. “So that’s a nice percentage.”

So is keeping your opposition at zero percent on its shot total.

“Makenzie, every game this season got a tiny bit better,” Walter said. “Every single game. She brought it all out (Saturday).”

For Barbin it was an afternoon of surviving constant pressure by the Rams, who kept the pitch tilted toward the Bishop McCort end throughout the day.

“The ball was on our end most of the time but I knew that this was the district championship,” Barbin said. “I just had to put everything into this game.” 

Stasko, on the other hand, needed just one opportunity to make her mark on the match. The senior forward, who is currently playing through a foot injury, created a turnover near midfield before punching the ball through and racing with a pair of Richland defenders before sliding a shot beyond the reach of Rams keeper Jordan Seifert.

“She came back from an injury that kept her out for three weeks” Walter said of Stasko. “Just an amazing player. She shows 100-percent determination and for her to put that ball in the net was everything.” 

Before play resumed after Stasko’s goal, Richland coach Nate Gironda was given a red card, resulting in his ejection from the contest.

The loss of their coach did not deter the Rams in the remaining time.

Richland (10-9-1) ramped up its offensive tempo following the goal with a near-miss on an equalizer coming in the 77th minute from Nicki Mihalik as she headed a corner kick over the crossbar. A minute earlier, Richland’s Ashley Rovder sent a kick from about 20 yards away over the crossbar.

“We knew we had to pass better coming into this game,” Richland assistant coach Chad Shetler said. “We knew we couldn’t get into a kick-and-chase game. The girls played exactly the way we wanted them to but obviously we couldn’t put it in the net and we struggled with corner kicks.” 

The Crimson Crushers will meet the third-place squad from District 3 on Tuesday in the first round of the PIAA tournament at a time and site to be announced.

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