BEA out of playoffs after 1-0 loss to West Shamokin

WINGATE — Bald Eagle Area had numerous scoring opportunities, but the team just couldn’t locate the back of the net.

The Eagles fell just short against West Shamokin as they were dropped by the Wolves in the District 6 class AA semifinal, 1-0. The loss knocked the Eagles out of the playoffs.

“I’m still proud of these guys, no matter what the outcome of this game was,” BEA coach Jason Bair said. “These guys had an incredible season, they played really well, worked hard together as a team and had the best record Bald Eagle has ever had (15 wins).”

Despite dropping the game, Bald Eagle Area actually outshot West Shamokin, 11-5. Many of Bald Eagle’s shots flew just over the goal post. Just five minutes into the game, Jared Getting has his shot fly just over the net on a play where West Shamokin’s goalkeeper exited the net to make a save.

“We needed to score, and in the first half had six or seven opportunities where we just blew it over the top or hit the post, and that’s on us,” Bair said. “When you lose, 1-0, that’s on us for not scoring.”

The game’s lone goal was in the first half. West Shamokin’s Liam Alese received an’ over-the-shoulder pass as he was streaking toward the middle of the field and shot the ball over BEA’s Hunter Etters’ head as he exited the goal to make the save. The score put West Shamokin up, 1-0, with 26:15 remaining in the game.

“I can say that I believe West Shamokin wanted the game more than we did, it’s what it felt like,” Bair said. “Because when the ball was loose and running around, they were getting to the ball and we weren’t.”

The Eagles inched closer in the second half, but had more of their shots denied. Wolves goalie Sam Skamai recorded eight saves in the game, and none more prevalent than his save following a BEA corner kick with 13:40 remaining to prevent an Eagles score.

“[West Shamokin’s goalkeeper] made some nice saves, and there was other times where we didn’t do our part in putting the ball where we needed to,” Bair said.

“Hats off to West Shamokin,” he added. “I wish them the best as they move on.”

LOOKING BACK

The Eagles’ 2017 campaign was one of the most successful seasons in the school’s history.

They racked up a school-record 15 wins and won a Mountain League title.

“I know they didn’t come out as a winner in this game, but these guys are winners in life,” Bair explained. “They’re going to go on from here. This might be a disappointment tonight, but this won’t be a setback for the rest of their life. They’re going to push on and I’m proud of them.”

“This is the gold standard of guys to be apart of, there’s no doubt about it,” he added. “There’s great leadership on the team, they’re just all-around good kids. Good grades, good athletes, and I’m proud to be their coach.”

LOOKING AHEAD

The Eagles will have a lot of fresh faces in their 2018 lineup.

The team loses a lot of seniors, meaning they’re going to be losing a lot of production. Seniors Seth Koleno, Jacob Michael, Jared Gettig, Trent Donley, Garrett Barnhart combined for 59 of the team’s 67 goals this season.

“I lose a lot of seniors this year, and we’ll recoup and see what happens next year,” Bair said.

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