PHILIPSBURG — It’s no secret the rivalry between the Clearfield and Philipsburg-Osceola boys soccer team has intensified in recent years, but Thursday’s match between the Mountain League foes was a little more physical than most.
That was on full display in a foul- and card-filled second half that featured just one goal, a Luke Winters tally with 5:10 left that propelled the visiting Bison to a 1-0 victory.
Winters’ goal was a rebound shot where he raced in from the right wing to clean up the loose ball left from Nick Ryan’s rocket from the left that P-O keeper Caleb Pellerite knocked away.
The Bison were able to stave off the Mounties from there and preserve the 1-0 victory.
“We had to settle down in the second half and just get back to playing our game, passing the ball and getting some possession,” Clearfield head coach Todd Trinidad said. “We had possession through a lot of the second half and it paid off at the end with some good passing and Luke Winters had a beautiful finish.”
Clearfield held a 16-5 advantage in shots, including a 9-3 edge in the second half, and had seven corner kicks to the Mounties’ two.
One of those corner kicks late in the first half ended up in the back of the P-O net when Andrew Lopez chested the ball in. But the Bison were whistled offside and the goal disallowed.
The non-goal still gave Clearfield a little momentum heading into the second half.
“It was nice to know that we were getting some control and making some good passes,” Trinidad said. “We were getting some opportunities, but Philipsburg was playing pretty good defense on us.”
The second half began with a sequence in the Bison goal box when keeper Graeson Graves and P-O forward Ashton Crownover got tangled up, exchanged words and were each given a yellow card, taking both players off the pitch for five minutes.
That was an especially tense five minutes for Clearfield, which had to put junior varsity keeper Todd Hallman into his first varsity action. The Bison freshman faced one shot, and made a bobbling save to keep things scoreless.
“We lost our keeper for five minutes and that was a little terrifying, but Todd, our jayvee keeper, came in and did a great job and kept them off the board,” Trinidad said. “That was his first time on the varsity field with lots of pressure and he did well. I’m proud of him.”
P-O was given three more yellow cards over the next five minutes and the Bison got another one later in the half as well as the game turned chippy.
“It was definitely a physical game,” Trinidad said. “We tried to stay out out it, but sometimes it’s a little tough to do that.
“But it’s great to come away with the win, especially against P-O, which is getting to be a pretty big rivalry.”
P-O head coach Shawn Inlow declined comment after the match.
Clearfield improved to 3-1 overall, while P-O slipped to 2-3 with its second straight 1-0 loss. The Mounties fell to Huntingdon 1-0 on Tuesday.
Both teams return to action Monday.
The Bison host Bellefonte and the Mounties travel to Penns Valley.
Clearfield 1, Philipsburg-Osceola 0
1. Luke Winters, (Nick Ryan), 74:50.
Shots: Clearfield 16, Philipsburg-Osceola 5.
Saves: Clearfield (Graeson Graves 4, Todd 1), Philipsburg-Osceola (Caleb Pellerite) 5.
Corner kicks: Clearfield 7, Philipsburg-Osceola 2.