Lady Bison avenge loss, shut out Bellefonte, 2-0|
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
HYDE - The Clearfield girls soccer team avenged its only loss of the season Monday evening at the Bison Sports Complex, handling visiting Bellefonte, 2-0.
The Lady Red Raiders defeated Clearfield, 3-0, on Sept. 12, and that loss plus a newspaper writeup about the game didn't sit well with the Lady Bison.
"The girls were not only inspired by the 3-0 loss itself, but it was quoted in the Centre Daily Times as a rout," Clearfield co-head coach Tom Mohney said. So we used that little piece of media in the pre-game conference. So 2-0 for us was an absolute rout."
The game was nearly a mirror-image of the first meeting. In the September matchup, Bellefonte held a 10-1 advantage in shots and took seven corner kicks to the Lady Bison's two.
On Monday, Clearfield registered 18 shots, while surrendering just three. And the corner kicks were an identical 7-2 count, only this time in favor of the Lady Bison.
"I did think we dominated the game," Mohney said. "We outshot them in both halves. We hit the post three times. I couldn't have asked for more from the girls."
Bellefonte controlled the game briefly at the start, possessing the ball in the Clearfield end of the field with crisp passing and good ball movement.
"Bellefonte executes very well," Mohney said. "They are very skilled technically with their one touches. They transition very quickly. When they get possession, they transfer the ball down the field quickly. Bellefonte is a very quality club."
But the Lady Raiders never got the ball close enough to the Clearfield net to fire a shot, and once Clearfield settled in and found the feet of Carlee Freeberg, the complexion of the game changed in a hurry.
Clearfield attacked Bellefonte on both wings, looking to get Freeberg loose by sending the ball over the top and letting the speedy striker go get it.
She collected a game-high eight shots and was constantly putting pressure on Bellefonte's defense and Lady Raider keeper Brooke Redfern.
Freeberg nearly put the Lady Bison on the board about 20 minutes into the game after taking a pinpoint pass from Taylor Dixon and breaking in all alone on Redfern.
But the Lady Raider keeper came out to challenge and cut down the angle, making Freeberg push her shot just inches wide of the far post.
"Carlee Freeberg again was on fire," Mohney said. "She was making those runs and taking shots and doing everything she could. And the team builds on that."
Freeberg was getting support on both wings as Katelyn Ryan and Brianna Spencer battled for loose balls and sent passes to their striker every chance they got.
"Katelyn did a tremendous job on the wing," Mohney said. "She was getting to the ball constantly all night. She was winning 50-50 balls. As a freshman, we are seeing her evolve into one of those key players right in front of our eyes. She was called upon tonight and she stepped up."
In addition to ball control, Spencer also fired three shots, ringing a pair off the post, including a header off a corner kick late in the first half.
"Bri has come into her own this year on the left flank," Mohney said. "She just controls a lot of the game."
Despite several quality opportunities, Clearfield was held off the scoreboard in the first half.
But it didn't take long for the Lady Bison to find the back of the net in the second 40 minutes of play.
Freeberg again generated pressure in the Lady Raider zone and Bellefonte cleared the ball behind the net, giving Clearfield a corner kick.
McKenna Aleksivich sent the kick to the far post and Tessa Munshower was there to volley the ball past Redfern and into the Lady Raider goal just 1:59 into the second half.
The Lady Bison almost tallied another goal moments later, but Freeberg's point-blank shot was blocked and Spencer's rebound attempt clanged off the inside of the post.
Not long after that, Freeberg had another shot snuffed out by Redfern, who made 13 saves and kept Bellefonte in the game.
"She did a phenomenal job on a couple of our shots," Mohney said. "Carlee was point-blank range a couple times. She did well. She's a great keeper."
Freeberg finally solved Redfern at 68:39 when she drilled a shot between a pair of Bellefonte defenders and past the diving Lady Raider keeper to give Clearfield a two-goal advantage.
The Lady Bison defense did the rest, limiting Bellefonte to just three shots and none in the final 11 minutes when the Lady Raiders amped up the offense.
"I thought our midfield dominated again," Mohney said. "Sabrina (Schwartz) controlled the midfield, and our three backs - Kara Thorp, Katie Powers and Lauren Conrad - were rock-solid. I think Kara especially had a great night. They didn't give much up at all."
And keeper Kelsey Greenland stopped the only three shots she faced, including a sliding save of a Kristin Buchanon laser midway through the second half.
Buchanon had a goal and an assist in the teams' first meeting.
"When you need one quality save from Kelsey, she's there," Mohney said. "Whether she faces one or 15, Kelsey provides the quality saves."
Clearfield improved to 9-1-2 with the win, while giving Bellefonte its first Mountain League loss of the season.
"It was a playoff atmosphere," Mohney said. "It was Bellefonte on our home field and we were coming off a 3-0 loss, and the girls weren't about to be denied. I'm just so proud of every girl in tonight's victory. It was a team victory. It really was."
The Lady Bison return to action Wednesday at Tyrone.
Clearfield 2, Bellefonte 0
1. Tessa Munshower, (McKenna Aleksivich), 41:59.
2. Carlee Freeberg, (unassisted), 68:39.
Shots: Bellefonte 3, Clearfield 18.
Saves: Bellefonte (Brooke Redfern) 13, Clearfield (Kelsey Greenland) 3.
Corner kicks: Bellefonte 2, Clearfield 7.