Prentice records 10th shutout as P-O downs Bald Eagle Area|
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
PHILIPSBURG - In the past few meetings against Bald Eagle Area, the Philipsburg-Osceola boys soccer team either didn't find a way to score or goals came when they counted the most.
The Mounties won on penalty kicks last year in the District 6 Class AA quarterfinals on penalty kicks, and the two teams dueled to a scoreless tie on Sept. 12 in Wingate.
Fast-forward to Tuesday afternoon where the Mounties still played the stellar defense, but the offense found its groove this time around.
P-O's Alex Gray, Nick Boumerhi and Chris Barnhart all scored goals, while Jay Prentice recorded his 10th shutout of the season and the 21st of his career to blank the Eagles, 3-0 at the Project 70 Complex. The Mounties changed venues to help them prepare for a run in the postseason.
"Hopefully we're going to play here some more," said P-O head coach Shawn Inlow. "I like this field because our home games aren't scratch-and-claw affairs with the ball bouncing all over the place like it does up the hill. On this field, the ball is predictable. You see less weird chances."
Bald Eagle Area kept the ball in P-O territory for much of the first half, despite not coming away with any scoring.
At the eight-minute mark, Eagle senior Eric Henderson's shot sailed high of the goal for one of his team's first shots of the game. P-O didn't take its first shot until about midway through the first half.
"It took 20 minutes for us to get control," said Inlow. "They had the first 20 minutes of the game pretty clearly. We've had four days off, and we didn't know what to do with them. Their legs are fresh now, so I think that's why it took them a little while."
The Mounties were in a scramble in front of the Bald Eagle net just a few minutes later, but couldn't cash in. However, they did record their first goal off a direct kick. Gray notched a header at 27:45 to put the Mounties up, 1-0. Taylor Golemboski was credited with the assist.
"I think Alex is now leading our team in scoring," said Inlow. "He feasts on that kind of stuff. He establishes a presence in the middle of the goalie box that a goalie has to be worried about. So, for Alex, it paid off today. When we were at Bald Eagle Area, we had chances like that but they didn't pay off. Their goalie stood really tall that day."
"It took us a while to establish a presence in the middle of the field. Once Taylor started winning all the air balls, that was the end of their possession in the middle. But they did a really good job early. When teams do that, we just try to make sure there is no shooting lane. They can shoot, but it's usually not dangerous.
"There were a couple scrums and there were a couple odd chances and it could've gone against us, but we got breaks on them."
The Eagles registered 12 shots in the first half, while P-O only recorded six. Prentice had 10 of his 13 saves in the first 40 minutes.
The Mounties picked it up again at the start of the second half on a quick score. Zach Hynd found Boumerhi, who hit another header in for the two-goal advantage.
At 69:32, Caleb Henry had a corner kick that was placed right beside the goal on the left side. A Mountie player missed the ball on a header, but Chris Barnhart was there to knock the ball in to make it 3-0.
"If we can't head it directly on, we like to try to head it downward," said Inlow. "We feel like if we can get the ball to the ground, then somebody has a chance. It's a little easier to poke it in from that distance, and Barney had it right on the doorstep."
"We had a light workout yesterday to get ready because after that seven games in 10 days that ended last week, everybody was tired," said Inlow. "We couldn't finish and now I think we're back on track. We got a big long rest and everybody's legs are better."
"We didn't score for a week until we got to Penns Valley (last Thursday). It looks like we got the combinations right today."
"We ran the table on the Mountain League for the whole first half. And in the whole first half, we were mixing and matching and trying to figure out who went where. We were trying different guys at different positions for 20 minutes at a time. Today, we did what we did at Penns Valley where there is very little substituting. We're going to keep doing it the same. We're going to run those guys out there until they can't do it."
The Mounties improved to 8-2-4 on the season. They host Huntingdon tomorrow night at Memorial Stadium for senior night. A total of 10 P-O seniors will be honored before the game.
"Nobody likes to play somebody on a senior night," said Inlow. "I'm not saying what's going to happen, but senior nights are awful when you're the visitor. We're in a good place."
Philipsburg-Osceola 3, Bald Eagle Area 0
1. Alex Gray, (Taylor Golemboski), 27:45.
2. Nick Boumerhi, (Zach Hynd), 43:27.
3. Chris Barnhart, (Caleb Henry), 69:32.
Shots: Bald Eagle Area 15, Philipsburg-Osceola 12.
Saves: Bald Eagle Area (Ben Leskovansky) 7, Philipsburg-Oscoela (Jay Prentice) 13.
Corner kicks: Bald Eagle Area 2, Philipsburg-Osceola 5.