WINGATE - The District 6 Class AAA girls soccer championship game between Hollidaysburg and State College was delayed at the start by 55 minutes because the preceding game between Bald Eagle Area and Richland went to a double OT shootout.
The scoring was delayed too as the third-seeded Lady Tigers and top-seeded Lady Little Lions battled to a scoreless tie in the first half. State had three very good chances in front of Hollidaysburg goalkeeper Peyton Civils, but its shots went either wide or over the net.
State College, however, scored two second-half goals to beat the Lady Tigers, 2-0, on Thursday night at BEA's Alumni Stadium for the program's fifth straight district title.
Photo for the Mirror by Chris Shannon
Hollidaysburg goalkeeper Peyton Civils tracks down a State College shot Thursday night.
Hollidaysburg coach Dave Soellner said the long wait to play wasn't a factor.
"Once we got off the bus, we stretched right away," he said. "We left them sit a little bit, and then we re-stretched. The more you wait, the more it gets into their minds, but I don't think that had any bearing on the game."
State College coach Kevin Marooney was ecstatic afterward.
"[Winning the fifth straight] hasn't been done before," he said. "It's quite a challenge. Our regular season was so different this year that I'm really proud of how the team confronted the entire regular season to put them in a position for a match like this against a really good opponent in Hollidaysburg, who they hadn't seen all season."
State College's first goal came with 36:59 showing in the second half as Megan Reid scored on an assist from Victoria Crawford.
"I'm sure it broke them a lot," Soellner said of how his team reacted. "When a team scores on you first, you've got to battle back."
State's Lauren Anderson scored the second goal on an assist from fellow freshman Haley Crawford with 5:44 left in the game.
The Lady Tigers (12-8) couldn't get their offense going as State College (14-5-1) held a 32-5 lead in shots. State goalkeeper Sarah Hartman made three saves to Civils' six.
"He packed his defense in," Soellner said. "You've got to try to play the ball to the outside when he's trying to do that. As the game goes on, it's tough to get the ball to the outside.
"We run a formation where we try to create some more offense, and I thought in the first half, it could have gone either way. We had our opportunities, and they had their opportunities. It seemed like all of the breaks went their way tonight, and we couldn't catch one."
"We had a lot of pressure, but we didn't have a lot of points to show for it," Marooney said. "I had a chance to see Hollidaysburg play a few minutes the other night. If Hollidaysburg can get in, they can stay in and cause some trouble for you. In the second half, we really tried to limit their opportunities."
While the Lady Lions were celebrating, the Lady Tigers were coming to the realization their season was done. When the team meeting broke up afterward, there were a lot of tears and hugs, espcially among seniors Michele Muir, Nicole Day, Allison Stubbs and Mikayla Dongell.
"I told them you can't hold your season on one game," Soellner said. "You've got to hold your head up. We came out 12-8 this year, and I'm sure a lot of people had us written off to get that far. To come out second in District 6, I'm very proud of our girls, especially the four seniors. I thought they worked really hard this year and stayed focused."
Notes: Hollidaysburg's Ariana Kriebel suffered an apparent head injury at the 19:08 mark of the first half, and she didn't return. ... State College had a 13-3 edge in shots on goal in the first half. ... State College will play next Thursday either at Mansion Park or at DuBois.
SCORE BY HALVES
Hollidaysburg0 0 - 0
State College0 2 - 2
Second half: SC-Reid (V. Crawford), 36:59; Anderson (H. Crawford), 5:44
Records: Hollidaysburg (12-8); State College (14-5-1)