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Parker’s 2nd goal lifts Bellefonte boys soccer over BEA

WINGATE — In a morning thriller, Bellefonte’s A.J. Parker posted two goals as the Red Raiders defeated Bald Eagle Area, 3-2, as the two teams added another page to their long and distinguished rivalry.

Bellefonte goalie Quinn Took finished with four saves and the Eagles’ Seth Pope tallied nine.

Offensively, the Red Raiders posted 16 shots on goal and the Eagles finished with nine.

Bellefonte also led in corner kick opportunities by a slim 5-4 margin.

“Every time you get Bellefonte versus Bald Eagle you get a back-and-forth-game like that,” Bellefonte coach Scott Martz said. “Defensively, we knew what they were going to do on offense. They were going to chip and run and everything.”

The game started quickly as the Red Raiders immediately pushed the ball into the defensive back-third of the Eagles. Bellefonte’s Harry Horner posted the first goal of the game unassisted in the fourth minute.

But the lead would be only temporary as the Eagles battled back a little more than a minute later. Ethan Gerber picked up a pass from Noah Giedroc and sent it past the goalie, tying the game 1-1.

From there both the defenses were very stingy and dug in their heels for a battle. For the next 20 minutes, the two teams refused to give up a goal.

But with 15 minutes left in the first half, the Red Raiders’ Parker picked up a pass from Gabe Koller and then blasted it in giving his team the lead once again, 2-1.

Despite trailing for the second time in the contest, the Eagles refused to go into half trailing. With 1:38 left, Shane Eveleth got free and went on a breakaway goal, tying the game at 2-2 going into the intermission.

“I’m very proud of their effort. They never quit. A lot of things didn’t go our way but our guys never quit,” said Bald Eagle coach Jason Bair. “They kept trying to overcome adversity and that’s why I’m proud of them. Their full potential is still not there yet. We just played two of the better teams in our league and we played Penns Valley and won 1-0 and we took this game to the very end. So I’m proud of them.”

Like in most rivalry games the second half is usually the most physical one and this one different. Things started to get very intense.

As the minutes ticked off the clock, the tension was growing to a fever pitch as each team took their shot at trying to get the advantage.

Less than 12 minutes in, the Red Raiders picked up the second goal from Parker as he was in the right spot at the right time, collecting a rebound off a Bellefonte shot and blasting it home to put the visiting team ahead.

But the physicality and pace continued to escalate with every shot and every possession. In the end, despite the strong effort by the Eagles to knot the game at three, the Red Raiders survived to take the one-goal victory.

Bellefonte 3, Bald Eagle Area 2

BEL–Harry Horner, 37:54; BEA–Ethan Gerber (Noah Giedroc), 36:03; BEL–A.J. Parker (Gabe Koller), 15:15; BEA–Shane Eveleth, 1:38; BEL–Parker, 28:24.

Shots: Bellefonte 16, Bald Eagle Area 9. Corner kicks: Bellefonte 5, Bald Eagle Area 4. Saves: Bald Eagle Area 9 (Seth Pope); Bellefonte 4 (Quinn Took).

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