Trip and kick does the trick
Thomas lifts Lady Bisons past Somerset
WINDBER — With 30 seconds remaining in the game, a Somerset defender was called for a trip inside the goalie box, awarding Bedford a penalty kick.
Bedford senior Amber Thomas took the kick, and put a kick into the top left corner of the net in what would prove to be the game-winning goal.
This put the Lady Bisons ahead, 2-1, and Bedford held on to win the District 5-6 2A championship, its third in a row.
“I’m very excited for our team,” said Bedford head coach Jeff Thomas. “These girls worked very hard for this and they deserved it.”
Somerset (16-4) goalie Courtney Vought stopped 20 Bedford shots, keeping the game within reach for her offense, as Bedford out shot Somerset 27-8.
“(Vought) played an outstanding game tonight,” said Somerset head coach Alex Bastidas. “She kept us in the game and made some outstanding saves.”
Along with Thomas, Bedford (18-0) got a goal from Jenna Brown in the first half, and that sparked their offensive pressure throughout the game.
“It was unfortunate what happened toward the end of the game,” Bastidas said. “If we went to overtime, I think we would’ve came out with a better result.”
Neither team registered a shot in the first eight minutes, until a free kick from Bedford’s Amber Thomas was stopped by Courtney Vought.
Bedford kept up its offensive pressure, creating multiple opportunities to score off of breakaways and free kicks.
At 31:00, The Bisons’ Julianna Taylor got behind the Somerset defense for a breakaway, but Vought made a sliding save to keep the game scoreless.
Bedford finally cracked the scoreboard at 17:41 when Jenna Brown scored off of a free kick pass to put the Lady Bisons up 1-0.
Somerset had one prime scoring opportunity in the first half, when Alyssa Faulkner split two defenders and sprinted toward the goal, but the ball was stolen just feet in front of the net.
The Golden Eagles did not register their first shot until the 10:33 mark, and went into the half down 1-0 and being outshot 11-2. Vought made six saves on the Bisons’ shots.
In the second half, Bedford had three corner kick opportunities in the first five minutes, but were all knocked away.
Somerset tied the game at the 33:36 mark, when Lilly Means took a shot at goalie Lindsay Mowery, who made a diving save, but the rebound went right to Emma Kinsinger who put it into the wide open net to knot the game at 1-1.
Means was credited with an assist on the play.
Bedford then held Somerset shotless for over 20 minutes until Mowery made another diving save at the 12:07 mark.
The Lady Bisons, however, had many chances to score on breakaways and free kicks again, but Vought kept the Golden Eagles in the game by making several impressive saves.
Kinsinger nearly put Somerset ahead when she got on two breakaways in a two minute span, but both were stopped by Mowery.
The game was tightly contested until thirty seconds left, when Somerset was called for a trip inside the goalie box, giving Bedford a penalty kick.
Thomas took the kick, and put a shot into the top left corner of the net for the game-winning goal, giving the Lady Bisons the championship.
“This game shows that our girls never quit,” Thomas said. “We played and battled hard all game and it showed.”
Both teams will now prepare for the PIAA state playoffs, with Bedford and Somerset having the possibility of meeting again in the second round.
SCORE BY HALVES
Bedford 1 1–2
Somerset 0 1–1
First Half: B–Brown (unassisted), 17:41.
Second Half: S–Kinsinger (Means), 33:36; B–Thomas (penalty kick), 0:31.
Records: Bedford (18-0), Somerset (16-4).