Foor, Maxwell power Warriors into D6 finals
HOLLIDAYSBURG — With his team locked in a scoreless tie with Bedford in a District 6 Class 2A boys soccer semifinal playoff game on a chilly Halloween night, Everett coach Brad Zembower was crossing his fingers that an overtime period would not be in the cards.
“I was just praying that we wouldn’t go to overtime and a sudden-death situation,” Zembower said.
Thanks to his scoring tandem of junior forward Bailey Foor and sophomore forward Nathaniel Maxwell, the overtime period Zembower dreaded never materialized.
Foor scored twice on assists from Maxwell, and Maxwell got another goal on an assist from Foor, as Everett (17-1-1) punched its ticket into Thursday night’s district championship game with a hard-fought 3-1 semifinal victory Monday at Hollidaysburg’s Tiger Stadium.
Everett will face Bald Eagle Area — a 1-0 semifinal winner over Cambria Heights on Monday — for the district title on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Altoona’s Mansion Park.
“We wanted to make it to the district championship game last year,” Zembower said. “We made it this year. We focused on hard work, technical skills and team chemistry this year.”
Everett got the break it needed midway through the second half, when Bedford was called for a tripping foul and Foor was awarded a direct kick.
Standing to the left of Bedford goaltender Gus Pyle, Foor instead threaded the needle on a pass to Maxwell, who was crashing the net and nudged the ball into the cage at the 18:59 mark to give Everett a 1-0 lead.
“Bailey was setting up for a shot, but played the ball through beautifully to me, and I just curled around their goalie and tapped the ball in,” Maxwell said.
The goal gave Everett a spark in a game in which scoring was very hard to come by for nearly 59 minutes.
“That first goal lit a fire under us,” Zembower said.
Everett went ahead, 2-0 nearly eight minutes later, when Maxwell converted a steal into an assist that would result in Foor’s first of two goals in the game.
“Maxwell got downfield, the ball came loose, and he fought for it,” Foor said. “I just kicked it with my right foot into the bottom left part of the cage.”
Bedford battled back gamely, putting eight second-half shots on the Everett net, one of which — Casey Johnson’s boot at with 5:09 left in regulation — resulted in Bedford’s only goal of the night and made it a 2-1 game.
“I’m proud of our boys, they didn’t give up,” said Bedford coach Barrett Schrock, whose team finished the season at 13-6-1. “I thought we played much better in the second half. It was just unfortunate that the ball went the other way.”
Everett cemented the victory with 1:35 left, when Foor converted a Maxwell assist to make it 3-1.
Zembower admitted that he isn’t at all familiar with the Bald Eagle Area team, Everett’s finals opponent on Thursday, but that he plans to learn as much as possible in the next couple of days.
“I know nothing about Bald Eagle Area, but I’m hoping to learn some things (Tuesday and Wednesday),” Zembower said.
SCORE BY HALVES
Bedford 0 1 — 1
Everett 0 3 — 3
First half: No scoring.
Second half: 1, E–Maxwell (Bailey Foor), 18:59. 2, E–Bailey Foor (Maxwell), 26:41. 3, B–Johnson (Bonin), 34:51. 4, E–Bailey Foor (Maxwell), 38:25.
Records: Bedford (13-6-1); Everett (17-1-1).
Shots on goal: Everett 10, Bedford 9.