Bellefonte falls to Hollidaysburg in championship game, 3-0
By KENNY VARNER
From The Express
ALTOONA – It was win or go home Wednesday night when the top seed in the District 6 Class AAA boys soccer, Bellefonte, matched up with the No. 2 seeded Hollidaysburg Tigers in the District 6 Class AAA Championship game held at Mansion Park.
It was a game of strategy and pinpoint passing but in the end it would be Hollidaysburg that took the contest 3-0.
“Tonight was a tale of two halves. The first half we came out pretty aggressive. We played really well in the first half. We went to their place earlier in the year and they scored two goals in the first half. I told the guys we are zero-zero right now. It’s better than the first time we played them,” Bellefonte coach Scott Martz said. “We played with these guys and played well. In the second half we kind of fell apart. It was just the tale of two halves tonight. I told them that one game doesn’t dictate how we played this year. We came through. We were two games out of the league starting the second half of the season. Our team went undefeated to win the Mountain League title.”
The Red Raiders were led by leading-scorer Alex Horner. But he was kept in check by a strong effort by the Tigers back third.
In the second half, Hollidaysburg scored on its first shot of the final stanza.
With 39:04 left, Christian Kendziora hit the top half of the net just out of the reach of a diving Bellefonte goalie Josh Gaus.
While the Bellefonte offense was looking for an opening in the Tigers defense, Hollidaysburg had other ideas.
Breaking free on a breakaway, Tigers forward Kyle Whitaker broke free on a breakaway and snuck it past Gaus, upping it to 2-0.
Adding an insurance goal for the Tigers was Conor Pielmeier, giving Hollidaysburg a secure cushion at 3-0. The Tigers outshot the Red Raiders 16-12, led in corners while the Tigers collected six corner opportunities while Bellefonte wasn’t fortunate enough to get one.
Bellefonte opened the game with the first possession.
However, the Tigers quickly got the ball and then picked up two consecutive corner opportunities.
But the Red Raider defense was up to the challenge, like it was for the entire first half and turned them away empty handed both times.
Hollidaysburg also took the first prolonged drive of the half deep into the heart of the Bellefonte defense. The home team was ready for the onslaught of pressure. Neither defense would allow any clear open shot or looks at the others goal.
The Bellefonte offense got a slow start picking up its first shot on goal with 26:24 left. The Red Raiders would finish the half with a total of five shots while the Tigers had seven.
Hollidaysburg picked up three corner opportunities while Bellefonte failed to pick one up.
Kenny Varner is a contributor to The Express. He will also be covering BEA’s championship game tomorrow against Everett.
Hollidaysburg 3, Bellefonte 0
BE 0 0 -0
HO 0 3 -3
HO – Christian Kendziora
HO – Kyle Whitaker
HO – Conor Pielmeirer
Shots on goal
Bellefonte 12, Hollidaysburg 17
Bellefonte 0, Hollidaysburg 6
Seth Lowery (HO) 6, Josh Gaus (BE) 7, Noah Nadolsky (BE) 1