Bedford’s big season derailed by Bubblers
LOYSBURG — Entering the PIAA Class 2A state playoffs at 20-0, the Bedford girls soccer team has had no problem scoring goals throughout its season.
It was a game of missed opportunities for the Lady Bisons, however, as they failed to convert on numerous first-half scoring chances Tuesday night and fell to District 3’s second seed Boiling Springs, 5-0, in the first round of the state playoffs at Northern Bedford County’s Panther Community Stadium.
Boiling Springs advanced to play Mercyhurst Prep in the PIAA quarterfinals on Saturday at a site and time to be announced.
“Our passing was off a little bit on some chances we had in their end,” Bedford coach Jeff Thomas said. “I’m not sure if we were used to playing on turf or if it was just our nerves, but we passed to space a lot, and by the time we got to the ball, it was too late to get a good shot off.”
It was an evenly-matched first half, as each team had numerous scoring chances, but only Boiling Springs converted on its opportunities as Maddie Hughes and Bethany Decker each scored goals midway into the first half that gave the Lady Bubblers a 2-0 advantage at halftime.
Two of Bedford’s best opportunities came when Allison Pittman and Lydia Grimes had point-blank scoring chances, but Boiling Springs keeper Asia Whittenberger stood tall and finished the game with 10 saves.
Decker added a second goal for the Lady Bubblers just a little more than one minute into the second half that proved too tall of a task for Bedford to overcome.
“(Going down three goals) was tough,” Thomas said. “If we would have scored instead of them right out of the half it would have been a one goal game and it could have easily gone the other way.”
Boiling Springs coach Steve Brookens stressed the importance of not letting up despite the 2-0 advantage.
“We told our players at halftime we wanted to approach the game as if it were tied going to the second half,” Brookens said. “We saw (Bedford) was down 2-0 in their district final game and came back and won, so we knew they could come back, but our third goal seemed to put more pressure on them.
Hughes added two goals in the second half and finished with three goals for Boiling Springs, and now has 28 goals for the season.
“We knew (Hughes) was fast,” Thomas said. “I watched them play their last game and we looked for her, but she still got past. We can’t take anything away from her, she’s a good player.”
Hughes and Decker used their speed and routinely found themselves outracing Bedford defenders.
“We have been working on using our speed to get to through balls in practice,” Brookens said. “Both of our forwards (Hughes and Decker) are quick to the ball, and we try to use that to our advantage when we have the chance.”
Bedford graduates seven seniors from a team that left its mark on school program history, including four starters in Katie Querry, Allison Shuke, Lydia Grimes and Amelia Beland.
“They were a super group,” Thomas said of his senior class. “They’ll all want to come in and practice tomorrow, that’s just the way they are. They’ve accomplished more than any Bedford girls team has ever done. They are a special group, and I hate to see them go.”
SCORE BY HALVES
Boiling Springs 2 3 — 5
Bedford 0 0 — 0
First half: BS–Hughes (unassisted), 20:32; BS–Decker (Garman), 26:17.
Second half: BS–Decker (unassisted), 41:16;BS–Hughes (unassisted), 44:21; BS–Hughes (unassisted), 49:30.
Records: Boiling Springs (17-5); Bedford (21-1).