Early goal stakes Tyrone in D6 semi
HOLLIDAYSBURG – Zachary Friday scored two goals for Tyrone and the top-seeded Golden Eagles dropped Juniata 2-1 in the semifinals of the District 6 Class AA boys soccer tournament on Tuesday at Hollidaysburg Middle School.
“I thought they had three dangerous opportunities and they finished on two of them,” Juniata coach Clint Brackbill said. “It’s unfortunate for us, but they did what gives them the ability to move on.”
Juniata fell into a quick hole to start the night.
Less than two minutes into the contest, Tyrone got a corner kick and Juniata goalkeeper Matt Coldren came toward the corner and the ball slipped by him.
Friday met the bouncing ball and was there to bang home Tyrone’s first chance of the game and give the Eagles a 1-0 advantage with 38:22 left in the opening half.
“It’s unfortunate for Matt on that first goal,” Brackbill said. “He’s played outstanding for us all year. I’m sure he feels horrible about it. It shouldn’t have come down to that. It shouldn’t have gotten back there. We should have cleared it out before that. They took advantage of that and put it in the back of the net.”
Juniata looked to have a chance to score with around 22 minutes left in the opening half.
Ricky Heck got a steal and was streaking down the left hand side, but he was met by two Tyrone defenders and he knocked it off one of them to give Tyrone the ball.
Four minutes later, Juniata got another decent shot against the Tyrone goalkeeper Dominic Berry.
Brand Brackbill cut across the middle and made a pass to Jose Lopez, who lined a shot with his left foot that Berry snagged to retain the 1-0 lead.
Tyrone had a scoring chance a minute later but Coldren punched the ball out and quickly converted the save to a Juniata scoring chance.
Juniata quickly got the ball down the field and Brand Brackbill scored from the right side to tie the game up a 1-1 with 15:37 left in the first half.
“It was a great shot,” Clint Brackbill said. “He’s a dynamic player. He’s still young, he’s still learning. He’s still figuring it out. It gave us a great momentum push there.”
Three minutes later, Brand Brackbill had chance to give Juniata its first lead of the night. He fired from the right side past Berry and over the goal to keep the game tied.
Tyrone answered right back for the Golden Eagles, with Friday scoring again on the doorstep for his second goal of the night.
Juniata could have tied the game at the start of the second half. Reminiscent of his goal in the quarterfinals against Bishop Carroll, Nick Gilbert dribbled in and had a one-on-one shot at Berry
This time however, the goaltender deflected the shot over the net and preserved the lead for Tyrone.
Juniata had another chance with 31 minutes to play in the game. The Indians shot on Berry and he attempted to save the shot but the ball squeaked away.
Juniata collected the rebound, but was facing away from the goal and couldn’t get into position to knock the rebound in.
With 25 minutes to play, Juniata again was inches away from tying the game.
Andrew Clouser fired from the left side and Berry deflected the ball. The ball then bounced outside the goal before he picked it up to secure the save and retain the lead.
Tyrone had a golden opportunity to extend the lead to 3-1 with 19:35 to play in the game.
A free-kick cleared the Juniata defenders and Alex Bartlett was there for Tyrone.
Bartlett took his shot at Coldren but missed the open shot wide to the right to keep the game at 2-1.
Tyrone was able to fend off Juniata’s scoring overtures the rest of the game to take the game and advance to the finals.
Juniata finishes the season at 10-8-1.
“The guys were extremely hard all year,” Brackbill said. “Did everything we asked. At the end, we’re playing out best soccer at the end. It’s just unfortunate that we weren’t able to put it in the net enough times to move on. It’s a little bit heartbreaking, but eventually, it’s got to come to an end.”