Berardinelli’s big game lifts Altoona
HOLLIDAYSBURG — It was another one of those Altoona-Hollidaysburg rivalry games. You know — throw out the record books, etc.
The schools’ boys soccer teams clashed at Tiger Stadium on Thursday night and the Mountain Lions used a pair of Alex Berardinelli penalty kicks and a game-clinching laser from Bailey Musselman to beat the Golden Tigers, 3-1.
Altoona also won the first meeting, earlier in the season at Mansion Park, 2-1, on a Berardinelli overtime goal.
“It’s a nice year when you can do that,” Altoona coach Dave McCarter said of the Lions’ two-game sweep over the Tigers. “It’s always a great rivalry, always a good game.
“It’s not always pretty,” McCarter continued, “but it’s always full of emotion and heart … I love it.”
Hollidaysburg coach Craig Shale agreed.
“Two good programs going at it,” Shale said. “It was a great all-around game … close like the first one. We knew it would be close. It will get us ready for the playoffs.”
Hollidaysburg won the District 6 Class 2A championship while Altoona took top district honors in Class 3A last season.
For much of the night, it looked like Berardinelli’s penalty kicks would be the difference. The Altoona junior ripped the first PK into the net with 30:13 left in the first half.
Hollidaysburg tied the score on a goal by senior captain Grant Glass with 21:45 remaining in the first half.
“We played our hearts out,” Glass said. “We did everything we could to get a victory over Altoona my senior year. I’m very happy with our season.”
Berardinelli’s second penalty kick came at 34:13 of the second half and gave Altoona a 2-1 edge.
“He can bury them,” McCarter said of Berardinelli’s PKs. “He wants to take them and is lights out. He’s a great tool to have.
“There’s no secret (with him),” McCarter continued.“You feed your horses who can run and, when you do, good things typically happen.”
“I didn’t think the second one was a penalty, so when you’re losing a game like that … it’s tough,” Shale offered. “There were two good programs going at it … nothing dirty. A lot of these kids play on the same travel team.”
Musselman, a sophomore who also handles some kicking duties for the AAHS football squad, sealed the victory with a left-footed goal to the back of the net with 12:53 left to play.
“That last goal was a freaking bullet from Bailey,” Shale said. “There was no stopping that. He’s like a freight train when he gets going.”
McCarter said they’ve been waiting all season for a Musselman goal like that.
“It was a college-level missile, a laser,” McCarter said. “They might need to check their nets because that was lethal.
“It was lights out,” he continued. “No goalie in the world is getting to that thing — it was just that good.”
Game notes: According to Hollidaysburg statistics, the Lions had 11 shots, the Tigers 12. … Tiger keeper Evan Shale made seven saves, Altoona’s Brady Freiwald had six.
SCORE BY HALVES
Altoona 1 2 — 3
Hollidaysburg 1 0 — 1
First half: A–Berardinelli (penalty), 30:13; H–Glass, H, 21:45.
Second half: A–Berardinelli (penalty), 34:13; A–Musselman, 12:53.
Records: Altoona (10-6); Hollidaysburg (9-6).
JV: Hollidaysburg, 2-1.