P-O advances to face Tyrone
Thanks to Wyatt Inlow’s penalty kick, with 3:55 left in overtime, the Philipsburg-Osceola boys’ soccer team is headed to the District 6 Class AA championship game for the second year in a row.
Inlow’s boot, into the back left corner of the net, gave the Mounties a thrilling 2-1 semifinal win over Bellefonte at Mansion Park on Tuesday night.
P-O will take on Tyrone in the 6-AA title game Thursday. The Golden Eagles beat Juniata, 2-1, in the other semifinal Tuesday at Hollidaysburg.
“I don’t think we played a very good soccer game tonight,” P-O coach Shawn Inlow said. “I thought we were playing too much streak ball, but we finally got one of those streak balls to work.”
Coach Inlow was referring to Austin Krise, who got behind the Bellefonte defense, took a pass instride and rushed the net. Bellefonte keeper Matt Feldman came out but was called for interfering with Krise and P-O was awarded a penalty kick.
That set the stage for Wyatt Inlow, a junior midfielder, and the coach’s son drilled the PK past Feldman for the game-winner. It was his fifth PK of the season.
“I’ve scored some penalty kicks, but not in overtime,” young Inlow said. “It’s really cool to get to the finals two years in a row. Before last year, we never got to the final.”
Asked what he saw leading up to the PK, Wyatt Inlow said “it was a good ball to Austin and it looked like the defender took him down.”
Bellefonte coach Scott Martz saw it differently.
“We knew all night long they were going to play long ball with number 3 [Krise],” Martz said. “The second half we could tell he was getting tired and we tried to pull him up a little and draw him offside.
“The ball was played and he was offside by far – at least five yards,” Martz said. “As soon as the ball was played, our guys knew he was offside and they quit playing.
“The ref just let it go. I mean, what do you do? It’s in his hands and, in a semifinal game, you don’t make that call,” Martz said, referring to the penalty. “Their guy tripped himself and he called our guy for pushing him from behind.”
Martz said it was a shame the game ended on the penalty kick.
“There were two great teams and you want the kids to determine the game,” Martz added.
Ironically, Philipsburg also was involved in a game last season where a penalty kick played a big part in the outcome.
“Tyrone had a chance to put us out last year in the semifinals, but they missed a penalty kick,” P-O coach Inlow recalled. “Their good kid, Bartlett, who plays in college now, had never missed a penalty kick, but he missed that one, we went on to win and that set up our match with Bellefonte in the finals.”
P-O then beat Bellefonte, 3-0, in the 2012 title game.
“We graduated a district championship team,” Coach Inlow noted, “but we’re back again, and few thought we would be. On Oct. 3, we were 2-6-1 and we managed to get a winning record. A lot of people didn’t think we could.”
SCORE BY HALVES
Bellefonte0 1 0 – 1
Philipsburg-Osceola 0 1 1 – 2
Second Half: P-O – Krise, 17:48; B – Rudloff, 9:55.
Overtime: P-O – Inlow (PK), 3:55.
Records: Bellefonte (12-6-1); Philipsburg-Osceola (9-8-1).