BROOKVILLE — Patiently dealing with Brookville’s packed-in defense, the DuBois Beavers soccer team eventually found the back of the net.
Nolan Bussell scored off the first of two Alex Gribik assists with just over a minute left in the first half and then the Beavers scored two more goals in the second half in a 3-0 win over the Raiders Monday afternoon.
Gribik set up Seth Braid and then Braid assisted on Nico McDonald’s goal to set the final with 11:30 left in regulation as the Beavers evened their early-season record to 2-2.
“We worked on some stuff getting used to taking shots further outside the 18-yard line these past two weeks instead of just passing the ball around until we had a thru-ball to make,” said Beavers head coach Matt Erickson, whose team hosts Hollidaysburg today. “We know that there will be some teams we face that’ll pack things into the box. We worked on taking shots outside.”
DuBois outshot Brookville, 19-2, with the Raiders defense blocking several other shots.
For the Raiders (1-3), that’s exactly what the plan was. Frustrate the Beavers in the box and hope to take advantage of the few counters they could generate off defensive stops.
“The game plan was that they were going to go wide and try to stretch us out and we had to stay compact. You could see in the first and second halves how frustrated they were … They got some scoring sequences in,” said first-year Raiders coach and 1995 DuBois Area graduate Dave Reitz.
Reitz was a senior when Erickson was a freshman on the Beavers back in the fall of 1994.
The Beavers outshot the Raiders, 8-1, in the first half, but it was the Raiders who got the first significant scoring chance when Jace Miner’s shot off a Jacob Cable pass went over Beavers goalkeeper Shadi Hassan, but also over the crossbar.
Raiders goalkeeper Darius Sorbin, who made 15 saves, made a couple of big saves in the final six minutes of the first half, but the Beavers finally broke the ice when they put together a scoring sequence off a corner kick with Gribik setting up Bussell with 75 seconds on the clock.
The Raiders had a couple scoring chances on counters in the first 10 minutes of the second half before the Beavers went up 2-0 at the 23-minute mark on Gribik’s helper on Braid’s goal. Gribik drove the end line and dished a pass to Braid in front of the goal.
Then it was Braid setting up McDonald to complete the scoring.
“I’m happy with how we scored today and love to see different players score every goal. If we could have a 6-0 game, I’d want six different guys scoring,” Erickson said. “I’d rather have that than one player scoring six.”
Reitz felt his team played well in enacting the game plan against the Beavers. It just wasn’t quite good enough.
“We worked on parking the bus and that’s what it looked like,” Reitz said. “We took their game plan away from them and frustrated them and they had to figure a way out. For the length of time we’ve been doing this and our age, they’re coming a long way.
“Looking even further into the year, we look better every time we do this. We get everything squared away … We had to play perfect today and didn’t, but we created enough scoring opportunities where we could’ve tied the game or won. We have five or six chances. We could’ve easily won. We’re on our way.”
The Raiders visit Punxsutawney Thursday.