Warriors relieved with win
EVERETT — Once the playoffs kick into high gear, sometimes all it takes is for a good team to lose its focus a little bit to get upset.
According to Everett coach Brad Zembower, his team really wasn’t as focused as he would have liked it to be in its District 6 Class 2A semifinal match with sixth-seeded Bedford.
However, as with March Madness, it’s all about one’s ability to “survive and advance.” The mistakes can be sorted out and talked about in practice.
The Warriors did just that as they took a one-goal lead at the break and added two more insurance goals in the second half to knock off the Bisons, 3-0, on Monday night at Everett Warrior Stadium.
“Anytime we can go into the half being up is important,” Because, I thought we were heavily outplayed for most of the game,” Zembower said. “We just didn’t show up tonight. They only place we showed up was on the scoreboard, and we were fortunate at that. I thought, honestly, Bedford outplayed us for the majority of the game.
“We didn’t have our focus. We weren’t very focused. We weren’t stringing passes together very well. We weren’t stepping to the ball when we lost possession. Historically, we’ve been great about getting pressure when we lose the ball. Just tonight we were like, ‘Here, drive it all the way down why don’t you.'”
With second-seeded Everett on the attack more often than not in the early going, it seemed like only a matter of time before something gave.
That give came off the foot of Brady Foor who finally broke through and put Everett (17-1) on the scoreboard at the 21:09 mark.
Nathaniel Maxwell tossed in a throw-in to Bailey Foor who immediately passed it back to Maxwell, who then found Brady Foor standing wide open around the 20-yard mark. Brady settled the pass, turned, found himself wide open and fired a shot on goal that crossed the line just before Bedford goalie Jordan Dull could get over.
“To have somebody open, it’s a mental breakdown,” Bedford coach Barrett Schrock said. “Over the course of a game, you’re going to have some mental breakdowns. You try to minimize them, you try to minimize where they are at on the field, but they got a break.”
The Warriors had plenty more chances to close out the opening half but each opportunity sailed over the goal or just to the left or right of it as they kept the pressure on Dull and the Bisons defense.
With the amount of opportunities that it allowed Everett to get in the opening 40 minutes, Bedford (11-8-1) had to be happy and confident down just the one goal.
The Warriors, however, came out to start the second half looking for a little insurance, and it didn’t take long to hit the back of the net once again.
This time it was Maxwell who delivered as he settled a pass from Brady Foor inside the box, took a shot that hit off a Bedford defender and fell right back at his feet where he quickly ripped a shot on goal that hit off the inside of the right post and caromed into the goal with 36:54 to go in the match.
“We’ve got a handful of players that at any moment they can take over a game, and at moments, they did some individual stuff which helped,” Zembower said. “When you have multiple threats that can score, then the other team can’t just mark one player.”
The Bisons certainly had their moments in the second half as they found themselves inside the Everett goal box on a plethora of occasions. However, the Warrior defense was simply not allowing them any room to turn with the ball to get a shot away.
Warrior keeper Andrew Klotz got himself another shutout by stopping nine Bisons shots, but his defenders certainly deserve just as much credit for limiting the opposition to only that number.
“I do think our defense played solid, and they had to because Bedford was looking to get some goals,” Zembower said.
The Warriors added their third score when Bailey Foor carried the ball down the left side of the field, had an angle from around 18 yards away and ripped it across to the right corner of the net with 9:42 to play to set the final.
The Warriors move on to the championship game to take on fifth-seeded West Shamokin, which upset top-seeded Bald Eagle Area, 1-0.
“I feel like as a team, they (Everett) had a lot of team speed out there. We were kind of reacting to what they were doing instead of forcing the issue,” Schrock said. “… Credit my guys, we’re down 3-0 and we still fought to keep the ball on the offensive side where we’re still trying to score in the last five minutes.”
SCORE BY HALVES
Bedford 0 0 — 0
Everett 1 2 — 3
First Half: E–Br. Foor (Maxwell), 21:09.
Second Half: E–Maxwell (unassisted), 36:54; B–Ba. Foor (Fierro), 9:42.
Goalies: Bedford — Dull: 10 saves, 13 shots; Everett — Klotz: 9 saves, 9 shots.
Corner kicks: Bedford 4; Everett 8.
Records: Bedford (11-8-1); Everett (17-1-0).