ST. MARYS - The Elk County Catholic Lady Crusaders finished the regular season Thursday at Benzinger Park with a 1-1 tie against the visiting Brockway Lady Rovers in Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League Central varsity action.
The tie gives ECC a record of 16-0-2 for the year, marking the team's first unbeaten season in its 13-year history and seventh straight league championship. The team is also the top seed for the upcoming District 9 Class A playoffs.
"While the tie is not exactly how we had hoped to finish the season, the game does put the finishing touches to an unbeaten season for this (ECC) team,"said Lady Crusaders coach Don Fabiano.
Elk Catholic had strung together 13 straight wins heading into yesterday's Senior Night recognition game. The Lady Crusaders had tied Brookville 1-1 earlier in the season.
"While the unbeaten season is a remarkable accomplishment, we have got to realize that the only thing those games did was get us to this point. We now have to get ready for a run at the playoffs. It's a whole new season," Fabiano said.
In those playoffs, ECC will face off against the same Brockway team Tuesday at Benzinger Park starting at 4 p.m. The Lady Crusaders drew the number-one seed, while Brockway (6-10-2) came in as the number-eight team.
Other first-round games include sixth-seeded Kane at Brookville Tuesday, and Thursday games pitting fifth-seeded Smethport at fourth-seeded DuBois Central and seventh-seeded Curwensville at second-seeded Karns City.
"It has been a very competitive season," Fabiano said of the 2010 schedule. "This year's playoffs are going to be well-matched. We are going to have to have this (ECC) team ready."
In yesterday's contest, ECC out shot Brockway 21-4, including 7-1 in the two 10-minute overtime periods. The Lady Crusaders also had an 11-2 edge in corner kicks.
"We were just a step away or slightly out of position to finish plays offensively," Fabiano said. "We (the coaches) just didn't have the team prepared well enough."
ECC went ahead 5:22 before halftime when junior Abbi Petrosky scored off a pass from senior Hanna McGowan. The Lady Rovers knotted the count 9:29 from the end when junior Amanda Lindemuth scored on a breakaway.
At halftime, seniors from both teams were introduced. ECC seniors were Karly Carnovale, Dani Catalano, Brianna Dornisch, Megan Dornisch, Hanna McGowan and Ellie Petrosky.