DuBOIS — The DuBois boys soccer team ended the regular season on Thursday with a 2-0 shutout win over Punxsutawney at the DuBois Middle School field.
Although the Beavers will take the win before starting the postseason next week, head coach Matt Erickson wasn’t pleased with everything that his team did, and noted a lackluster first half in particular.
“Going into playoffs, I’m trying to get some things into the kids’ heads that we haven’t played our best level going into playoffs,” said Erickson. “That first half, we didn’t have it. We’ve been practicing on turf the past couple days. That transition back to grass for a game, sometimes it’s difficult. We had slow passes. We just had to pick it up in the second half.”
Despite the performance, DuBois still led the shot count, 8-2, at halftime.
After a time where both teams didn’t find many shots, the Beavers got on the board at the 24:40 mark on a goal from Seth Braid.
Nolan Bussell’s cross pass from 10 yards away on the left wing was tipped by Punxsy keeper Jacob Ebel, but Ebel couldn’t pick the ball up and Braid was there to poke the ball in for the goal.
Dallin Glade was close to giving DuBois a two-goal lead heading into halftime as the sophomore ripped a shot at Ebel with 15 seconds left in the half. Ebel caught the line drive kick though and punted the ball away as the two teams went to halftime at 1-0.
The Chucks had a couple of runs to start the second half as they closed the 8-2 DuBois advantage in shots at the half to 8-6 in the first 15 minutes.
DuBois keeper Shadi Hassan also picked up a big save in the second half, diving for the ball off the foot of the Chucks’ Matt Wehrle.
After that save from Hassan, the Beavers went back on their own string of runs. Braid registered their first shot of the second half in the 58th minute before DuBois picked up their second goal.
Robert Martini blasted a shot from about 20 yards away from the right side. The ball made a high bounce before Ebel caught the ball over his shoulder near the goal line. Ebel tried to tiptoe the line, but his body crossed over with the ball as Martini was credited with the goal. The ball crossed the goal line at 62:02.
“He stepped up and taken a few shots from there a couple times this year,” said Erickson. “He’s had some really good shots and he knows he can make it from there. He definitely got a little more under it than he meant to, but it’s still a good result.”
DuBois finished the game with a 13-8 advantage in shots. Braid and Nolan Bussell led the Beavers with three shots apiece.
Hassan made seven saves in goal, while Ebel made nine saves.
DuBois, which ended the regular season at 11-6, earned the top seed in the District 9 Class AAA playoffs. The Beavers will await the winner between second-seeded Bradford and No. 3 Clearfield in a semifinal game for the right to play for the district championship. The championship is at a site, date and time to be determined.
“If we can play the way we are capable of playing, we’re going to do pretty well getting into states and maybe even win a state game or two,” said Erickson. “I like our chances if we play our best.”
The Bradford-Clearfield game is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday at Frank Varischetti Field in Brockway.