JOHNSTOWN - One year ago, the Bedford girls soccer team, lost an epic battle to Westmont Hilltop in the District 6 playoffs, at Richland's Herlinger field.
Thursday, the Bisons exercised those demons and avenged the heartbreak of that loss, by beating the Hilltoppers, 2-1, in a District 6 Class AA playoff thriller.
The game kicked off to a fast pace, with Westmont controlling the tempo of the game, for the first 20 minutes.
Westmont, peppered the Bedford defense with silky smooth ball control and touch passing that had the Bisons reeling.
With each Westmont scoring opportunity, came a better defensive play by Bedford.
"Traditionally, this year we have started off slow, luckily we survived that," Bedford coach Barrett Schrock said.
In the second 20 minutes, it was Bedford that had a little hitch in its step and cashed in with 17:32 remaining in the half, as senior, Hannah Grimes launched a missile past the Westmont keeper.
"It felt great," said Grimes, when asked what it was like to score the first goal of the game, and set the tempo.
Westmont tried to answer immediately, but was turned aside, as goalkeeper, Erin Mueller made a diving save, on a great scoring opportunity.
The Bisons were not done with their scoring, though. Senior, captain, Katie Pyle got some help from the wind when it hooked her corner kick, top shelf, with 3:32 left, to give the Bisons a 2-1 lead heading into the second half.
Pyle went from the ultimate high of scoring in a playoff game, to the lowest low, having to watch her teammates from the sideline, in the second half, due to a yellow card.
"Well, it was kind of mixed emotions," Pyle said. "I was so glad I got the goal in, because I could help my team, but I felt bad that I had to sit off for 20 or so minutes."
The Hilltoppers scored after a controversial penalty kick was awarded to Shyleigh Hughes.
Hughes took full advantage, and brought Westmont within a goal.
It was Hughes that started the game in net, but was later pulled and put on the offensive attack.
"Our team did a great job in the end, they did not give up," Westmont coach Juan Valencia said.
Bedford was attacked by the Westmont offense in the final minutes of the game, but each chance was turned aside by Mueller.
"I think she, [Mueller] is one of the best in the district," said Pyle, who is not only Mueller's teammate, but her cousin as well.
Schrock said that in moving forward, it will be important for his team to get off to a better start.
For Bedford, the win was not only revenge for last years playoff loss, but an important victory for the seniors, who got their first playoff win since they were freshmen.
Score by Half
Bedford2 0 - 2
Westmont0 1 - 1
First Half: 1, B-Grimes (unassisted) 17:32 ; 2, B-Pyle (corner kick) 3:32
Second Half: 1, WH-Hughes (penalty kick) 15:07
Records: Bedford 13-3; Westmont 11-4-1