Central Mountain, Jersey Shore renew rivalry; Bulldogs win 1-0 in OT
JERSEY SHORE — Magic happens whenever Jersey Shore and Central Mountain collide on the soccer field.
September 18 in Mill Hall, the Wildcats out-lasted the Bulldogs 1-0 after Jeremiah Thomas scored a double-overtime golden goal in the game’s final seconds. But with the rematch in Jersey Shore, it was only fitting the Bulldogs would rise to the occasion.
With 7:57 remaining in overtime, and double goose eggs on the scoreboard, Jersey Shore’s Hunter Bierly delivered a free kick into the back of the net to lift the Bulldogs to the win, 1-0.
“Hunter Bierly’s scored some very good goals for us from free kicks,” Jersey Shore coach Doug Moore said. “He’s got a real boot on him. I think he was trying to bend it into that far corner, and somebody got such a huge deflection on it, which put it into the back of the net.”
Prior to the free kick, Bierly was unsure whether his coach wanted him to handle the ball.
“Honestly at first I was wondering if my coach wanted me to take it or not, but he wanted me to,” Bierly explained. “My coach wanted me to try and bend it to the outside post, which luckily it started bending that way.”
“As soon as the ball went into the goal, I was ecstatic. I honestly couldn’t believe it. I thought there was going to be a deflection out or over [the goal post]. It was probably one of the best moments of my soccer career.”
The goal wrapped up a physical matchup played on a weather-affected field.
“With the field, it was muddy and slippery,” CM coach Billy Hook said. “It wasn’t the prettiest game, but we worked hard and we did just about everything that we could. We just couldn’t get the goal.”
Hook said there wasn’t a breakdown in coverage on the game’s decisive goal.
“Nothing went wrong,” Hook said. “They just had a dangerous free kick and they got a good ball in. We were just unfortunate not to clear it.”
The Bulldogs out-shot the Wildcats, 7-5. Jersey Shore also held a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks, and committed three fewer fouls than CM.
Despite the statistical edge in all major categories, JS coach Doug Moore was impressed the most by his team’s maturity. He’s been stressing leadership in practice and during games, and he feels the team’s underclassmen are beginning to heed his advice.
“I’ve been ranting to try and get some leadership and momentum out of them,” Moore explained. “There’s some talented players there, but we’ve lost a lot of seniors and we lost two players with broken bones. So we’ve been trying to get some of the younger ones to step up and be responsible, and I saw some of that today.”
“I thought they took responsibility. There was more drive and enthusiasm than I’ve seen [recently]. They’re a bit shy and they’re a bit young. So you’re asking 9th and 10th graders to be leaders, which isn’t easy, but I saw some leadership today and that pleased me.”
Wednesday’s game was the third overtime contest between the two squads in their previous four games. The series record is 1-1-1 in those three matchups.
“I think both teams realize this is a rivalry game, and that’s when you get the most energy out of both teams,” Hook explained.
JS coach Doug Moore was happy to avenge his team’s previous loss to CM.
“Central Mountain pinched it late from us back at their place, so perhaps today was a bit of poetic justice,” he said. “It was a very good and close game. It was fought with terrific spirit and we’re always thrilled to get the win.”
1 2 OT F
CM 0 0 0-0
JS 0 0 1-1
JS Hunter Bierly goal. JS wins 1-0, 7:57 remaining.
Central Mountain 5
Jersey Shore 7
(CM) CY Probst 6
(JS) Tim Martin 5