DuBOIS — A late first-half goal seemed to re-energize visiting Altoona Thursday night, as the Lady Mountain Lions rallied for a 4-2 win over DuBois at the middle school soccer field.
Altoona, which arrived just prior to game time due to some travel delays, jumped out to a 1-0 lead just before the midway point of the first half. DuBois countered with two goals, with a strike from senior Reese Sayers with 2:26 left in the half appearing to put the Lady Beavers in control of the game.
DuBois nearly extended that lead to two goals, but Altoona freshman backup keeper Julia Lane made a nice save with just over a minute on the clock. Lane was forced into action when starter Caranda Perea was injured in the 37th minute.
Lane’s save started an Altoona rush up the field in the minute that led to a goal by freshman Cassie Kyle with just 14 seconds left in the half. Teammate Darrian Berkheimer made a nice cross into the DuBois box and Kyle redirected it home to even the score and send the teams into the break knotted 2-2.
Berkheimer then scored twice in the second half to lead Altoona to victory. Berkheimer netted the eventual game winner 9:10 into the second half when she fired a shot of the crossbar that deflected straight down and spun in for a goal.
That goal ahead goal came shortly after Sayers broke free behind the Altoona defense but couldn’t find the back of the net.
“It’s always a good match against Altoona,” said DuBois coach Dave Martin. “We’ve beaten them the last couple years, but this season we couldn’t keep our rhythm in the games.
“Most of the girls there play together year round in club play and their familiarity with each other and positioning are evident. Our girls felt like we in many ways we were the better team, but opportunities weren’t capitalized on. Plus, failed first touches and overall ball control hiccups still plague us.
“We had some really great moments of movement on and off the ball and crisp passing schemes and our speed was displayed, but we unfortunately couldn’t keep those moments constant.”
Perea was forced to make an early save on a shot in the opening minute of the game by Lady Beaver Felicity Enseki. Altoona then seized control of the action over the next 20 minutes or so. DuBois keeper Emily Cherubini made a couple nice saves over that stretch.
Altoona’s pressure during the opening 20 minutes finally resulted in a goal when freshman Sarah Graham took a quick cross and dribbled in from the left side and fired a shot past Cherubini at the 19:49 mark.
DuBois answered back just over two minutes later on a direct kick.
Freshman Monica Scotto earned that kick when she was tripped on a run a yard or so outside the Altoona box. Senior Caitlin Drahushak took the direct kick and fired a shot on goal. Sayers made a run in front of the keeper and distracted her enough for the shot to get past Perea to even the score at 1-1.
Sayers later gave DuBois a 2-1 lead when she ran down a long ball that split the Altoona defense down the middle. Perea came out to challenge on the play with Sayers breaking in all alone, and the Lady Beaver was able to fired a shot past Perea. The Lady Lion keeper was injured shortly after the restart.
That brought Lane on to the pitch, with her late save starting the push that saw Kyle tie things up just before halftime. That goal swung the momentum back in Altoona’s favor heading into the second half, and the Lady Lions capitalized on that with Berkheimer’s two goals that have them the victory.
DuBois (9-5-2) closes out its regular season Wednesday at home against Hollidaysburg.