It's been awhile since the Altoona boys soccer team owned bragging rights over Hollidaysburg, but the Mountain Lions put an end to that Monday night.
Altoona downed Hollidaysburg, 2-1, in a steady downpour at Mansion Park for its first victory over the Golden Tigers since the 2008 season.
"We played really well in the first half. That was the best half of soccer we played all year," Altoona coach Dave Alexander said. "It's a good win over a quality opponent."
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Altoona celebrates Ryan Steinbugl’s goal during the first half of the Mountain Lions’ game against Hollidaysburg.
The Mountain Lions pressured Hollidaysburg throughout the first half, and it paid off when Ryan Steinbugl's throw in from deep in the Golden Tigers' end deflected off a defender and rolled into the net for a 1-0 lead.
"He's a huge weapon for us. We had so many scoring chances in the first half," Alexander said.
After the intermission, another Steinbugl throw-in led to the game-winning goal. Moments after Alec Menard got the equalizer for Hollidaysburg, P.R. Caracciolo scored to put the Mountain Lions back on top.
"We didn't get our heads down after they scored, got a goal and that carried us through the rest of the game," Alexander said.
Nick Beckel headed Steinbugl's throw in to an open Caracciolo for the goal just 35 seconds after Menard scored.
"Right after a goal is always a dangerous time. We got caught flat on two throw ins," Hollidaysburg coach Craig Shale. "It's a tough loss. It's been awhile since we lost to Altoona. They have bragging rights for now, but we get 'em again at our place in a couple weeks."
Trailing 1-0 at halftime, Hollidaysburg pressured Altoona throughout the early going of the second half and finally broke through at 12:17 mark.
Zach Franks slipped a pass through a pair of defenders, and just before keeper Joe Smith could grab the ball, Menard got a foot on it and put it in.
Menard nearly got one just prior to that, but Smith got to rolling ball first. Menard tripped over a balled up Smith and flew nearly five yards through the air, landing safely on the wet turf.
"We were a little flat after the first 10 minutes. They wanted it more than us," Shale said. "We looked like a more dangerous team in the second half."
SCORE BY HALVES
Hollidaysburg 0 1 - 1
Altoona 1 1 - 2
First Half: A-R. Steinbugl (unassisted), 6:55.
Second Half: H-Menard (Franks), 12:17; A-Caracciolo (Beckel), 11:42.
Records: Hollidaysburg (5-3); Altoona (4-3).
JV: Altoona, 4-0.