Clearfield toppled by Bellefonte 3-2|
Thursday, September 12, 2013
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
HYDE - Wednesday's clash at the Bison Sports Complex between Clearfield and Bellefonte was about as even a game can be without ending in a tie.
Both squads had their fair share of possession and runs through the midfield, and each came up with several dangerous scoring chances throughout the contest.
But in the end, the Red Raiders held a slim, 12-11, edge in shots, and that one shot was the difference in a 3-2 Bellefonte win.
"Both teams played an excellent game," Clearfield head coach Todd Trinidad said. "Hat's off to Bellefonte. They played well. We tried spreading out and working the ball around, and we had our chances. We were right in there with them. Just one of those games that someone has to win and, unfortunately it wasn't us this time.
"But our guys played really well. They fought hard. It's a tough loss."
Zach Fox scored both Bison goals and each came rather quickly after the visitors had taken a lead.
The Raiders netted the first goal on their first shot just 5:32 into the game when Tyler Rudloff finished after taking a short pass in the box from midfielder Grant Stone.
Stone kicked the ball from the right wing at the edge of the box directly at Bison keeper Keith Biancuzzo, who went to the ground to try and make a save. But Rudloff got to the ball and fired it past Biancuzzo to give Bellefonte the quick one-goal advantage.
It only took Clearfield 76 seconds to respond with its own attack from the right side.
Wyatt Stucke started the scoring play for the hosts, gathering the ball on the right wing and taking a couple quick touches toward the goal before sending it into the box where Fox was waiting.
The Bison striker got a good boot on the ball and beat Raider keeper Matt Feldman to tie the game at 1-1.
"We've been working on that a lot, and Zach is learning where to go, where he needs to be," Trinidad said of the scoring play. "It's coming together."
The rest of the first half featured a lot of wide open soccer with each team taking turns going on spacious runs through the midfield before trying to set up scoring opportunities in each other's scoring third.
Neither squad was able to break through the other's defenses, however, and the game went to the half knotted at 1-1.
Bellefonte broke the tie quickly in the second half with a middle attack the Bison defense was unable to slow.
Andrew Kaschalk and Andrew Stover broke into the box and the former sent a short pass across the goal mouth to his awaiting teammate. Stover drilled it home to break the deadlock just 8:40 in the second half.
"They were really good inside the box," Trinidad said. "I think all three of their goals were short crosses across the middle. They had a guy waiting far post every time. Hat's off to them. That was a good goal."
Undaunted, Clearfield soon found the answer to the Raider tally.
The Bison midfield, led by Jack Soult, asserted its will and was able to dominate possession for a time, leading to a couple dangerous runs deep into the Raider end.
"Once again, that midfield of Jack and Spencer and Bubba (Andrew Angstadt) bringing up the back on defense ... they play so well together," Trinidad said. "And Jack is just kind of amazing out there with his ball skills. He's just mesmerizing other players. Those guys are the key to our team. It's one talented midfield."
Finally, the work paid off for the Bison when a direct kick was sent down the right side where Jared Williams screened a Bellefonte player and got a foot on the ball, moving it forward. And Fox made a strong shot from a tough angle to tie the score at 2-2 with a little over 23 minutes left to play.
"(Williams) screened his guy and sent a nice little chip over the defender and Zach happened to be in the right spot," Trinidad said. "And he made a beautiful shot. It had nice placement. It was a beautiful kick, a beautiful play.
"Those guys have been working well this year, and they are coming together as a team of strikers. They are getting better and better every game."
"This team has a lot of heart. And they just keep fighting. We've been down in several games now, and we keep coming back. The guys just keep fighting. That shows a lot."
Bellefonte also had some fight left in it as well, and the Raiders were able to create a golden opportunity late in the half when they generated pressure deep in the Bison end and forced a corner kick - the only one the Raiders had in the contest.
The corner kick was sent to the far post where Stone controlled it and sent a short pass back across the box to Stover, who slotted in his second goal of the game to once again give the visitors a one-goal advantage.
This time, Bellefonte was able to keep the lead, thwarting a furious Bison rally over the final five minutes of play.
Soult nearly found the equalizer with 35 seconds left when he created a ton of space for himself and let loose a shot that was wide to the right by a slim margin. Soult had four shots for Clearfield and spent much of second half weaving his way through Red Raider defenders, who at times backed off instead of challenging him.
"He really demands a lot of respect out there," Trinidad said. "And hat's off to him that the players going against him give him that kind of respect. But they have to."
Both Biancuzzo and Feldman recorded nine saves.
Clearfield dipped to 2-2 with the loss.
"We're constantly getting better and better every game and every practice," Trinidad said. "These guys come out with heart, and they bring it every single game. As long as we keep moving forward, I'm happy. They're just doing wonders for me. The team leaders are stepping up. It's great to see."
Bellefonte picked up a 4-1 win in the junior varsity contest. Jordan Fox scored for the Bison.
Clearfield is back in action Saturday as part of a double header at the Bison Sports Complex.
The boys play Brookville at noon, while the Lady Bison host the Lady Raiders at 2.
Bellefonte 3, Clearfield 2
1. Tyler Rudloff, B, (Grant Stone), 5:32.
2. Zach Fox, C, (Wyatt Stucke), 6:48.
3. Andrew Stover, B, (Andrew Kaschalk), 48:40.
4. Fox, C, (Jared Williams), 56:44.
5. Stover, B, (Stone), 68:58.
Shots: Bellefonte 12, Clearfield 11.
Saves: Bellefonte (Matt Feldman) 9, Clearfield (Keith Biancuzzo) 9.
Corner kicks: Bellefonte 1, Clearfield 3.