Bison boot Dragons, 4-0|
Thursday, September 26, 2013
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
HYDE - Zach Fox picked up his first hat trick of the year, Keith Biancuzzo notched his second, straight shutout and the Clearfield boys soccer team avenged a season-opening loss to Central with a 4-0 win Wednesday evening at the Bison Sports Complex.
Fox netted the game's only first-half goal in the 26th minute and added a lightning-quick tally in the second half, giving the Bison a 2-0 lead just 39 seconds after the break.
He completed the hat trick at 77:31 and added an assist on a Jared Williams goal for good measure.
"He's been due to get a hat trick, and he did tonight," Clearfield head coach Todd Trinidad said of Fox.
"He was playing hard. That quick goal in the second half definitely helped for motivating and keeping the guys going."
Clearfield outshot the Scarlet Dragons, 15-8, in the game and was particularly impressive in the first half, even if the score only showed the Bison with a one-goal lead.
The Bison had nine shots in the first 40 minutes of play, led by Spencer Herrington's three and Aaron Angstadt's two, but were unable to get one past Central keeper Tristen Greenland until late in the half.
Clearfield defender Chase Wise started the scoring play with a throw-in from 10 yards behind midfield, heaving the ball up the line toward a sprinting Fox, who corralled it, beat the Dragon defense and then deposited his shot where Greenland couldn't reach it.
"We wanted to play our game of soccer," Trinidad said. "We stressed coming out strong in the first half and trying to get a lead, and working that through into the second half. The boys performed perfectly. They did just what we asked. We got a nice goal and kept playing hard and kept playing tough."
Bison sweeper Alec Freeman made a big play on the defensive side of the ball late in the half to preserve the shutout.
After Biancuzzo darted off his line to make a diving clear attempt of a ball sitting at the 18, a Central player was able to get the loose ball, take a touch and fire a shot toward the empty net.
But seeing his keeper in danger, Freeman ran back to the line and was able to get his head on the shot to keep the ball out of the net and clear it at the same time.
"Alec got right in position," Trinidad said. "He was there, made a nice save and got the ball out of there. He saved a goal and saved Keith his shutout."
Freeman and Biancuzzo, along with Wise, Josh Rhine, Andrew Angstadt and freshman Jared Kane were strong on defense, limiting Central to eight shots while recording Clearfield's third shutout of the season,
Clearfield wasted little time upping its advantage in the second half as it worked the ball deep into the Central end of the field where Craig Reddinger sent a short pass to Fox, who blistered the ball past Greenland for a 2-0 lead.
"The defense stepped up," Trinidad said. "Keith, once again, had another really good game."
The game flow got choppy in the second half as fouls started getting called with frequency and neither team was able to muster much of an attack off their direct or indirect kicks.
But the Bison fought through it and eventually were able to kickstart the offense once more as Herrington and Jack Soult dominated possession in the midfield and moved the ball forward to their very capable strikers.
"Our boys have played with heart all year. They just keep going and keep going through whatever comes up," Trinidad said.
Fox figured in the scoring again, this time sending a perfect pass from about the 35 to Williams just inside the 18. Williams split a pair of defenders and beat an onrushing Greenland to the ball, chipping it over him and into the net at 65:31.
"He's so fast up top," Trinidad said. "And as small as he is, he kind of sneaks through there and you don't notice him. He's really been coming a long this year. We're actually blessed with a few good strikers this year, and they're playing well together."
Fox finalized the scoring with 2:29 left to play with a scorching shot from the 6. Reddinger set him up with a short cross from the right wing.
"We're getting better every single game," Trinidad said. "We're just getting stronger and stronger. And Central is a really good team, They're playing well in the Mountain League. Hats off to them. They have a good program."
Clearfield improved to 7-3 with the win.
"I'm very happy with this team," Trinidad said. "I couldn't ask for any more from these guys. Our record shows we're doing well. We're on a roll, but we still have a lot of tough games coming up. We're not letting up. We're going to keep going strong and try to finish out tough."
The Bison are back in action Saturday morning at 11 at Curwensville.
Clearfield 4, Central 0
1. Zach Fox, (Chase Wise), 25:14.
2. Fox, (Craig Reddinger), 40:39.
3. Jared Williams, (Fox), 65:31.
4. Fox, (Reddinger), 77:31.
Shots: Central 8, Clearfield 17.
Saves: Central (Tristen Greenland) 12, Clearfield (Keith Biancuzzo) 7.
Corner kicks: Central 2, Clearfield 2.