When draw for the District 1 Class A girls soccer tournament came out, Christian Academy coach Rod Haseltine knew the Crusaders were in for a challenge.
Up first was a semifinal date with Bicentennial League foe Dock Mennonite Academy, which TCA, the defending district champions, narrowly defeated by one goal nearly a month ago.
“Even though we beat them I thought both teams were evenly matched and the game could go either way,” Haseltine said.
He turned out to be right.
Sara Kennel scored during a scramble in front of the net following a corner kick in the final minute to give the third-seeded Pioneers a 3-2 triumph over the second-seeded Crusaders.
Dock Mennonite will play top-seeded Calvary Christian, and 8-1 winner over Friends’ Select in Thursday’s championship game at Souderton High School (5 p.m.). The winner advances to the PIAA tournament.
Grace Gormley scored both goals for the Crusaders (9-9). She scored an unassisted goal in the first half to give TCA a 1-0 lead and then put home a rebound off a direct kick by Hannah Sareyka midway through the second half to tie the game at 2-2, but it wasn’t enough as Kennel scored with time winding down to bring TCA’s season to a close.
“We just didn’t clear it out,” Haseltine said. “There was a scramble and the ball bounced their way. It was an evenly played match. Their keeper had six saves, ours had seven. Both teams had good opportunities. They capitalized on three and we capitalized on two. “