HYDE — The DuBois boys soccer team was held to just three shots on the night, with all of them coming in the first half, in a 7-0 loss to West Allegheny in the first round of the PIAA Class AAA Tournament on Tuesday evening at Clearfield High School.
The Beavers were making their first appearance in the PIAA Tournament since the 1993 season.
“It’s a different kind of pace than what the kids have had to play all season,” said DuBois coach Matt Erickson. “It’s good for the younger guys that they got to see this kind of pace so they know what to expect next year.”
“It’s the first time we’ve been here in years, so I can’t be too upset. The kids worked hard all season to get here. We came through district playoffs with a tough game against Bradford (in the District 9 championship game), and we had to come up real big with a strong game against Somerset (in a PIAA subregional) just to even get here. You have to step the levels up as you go. It’s just a big step tonight that we weren’t really ready for.”
The Indians improved their record to 20-2-1 for the season. Their lone losses came in the first game of the season to Franklin Regional (2-1 in double overtime) and to Montour (1-0) in the District 7 title game last weekend.
West Allegheny capitalized on their first two shots of the game with goals. Evan Blunkosky put in the first goal of the game at the 2:02 mark after he tipped the ball off of another Indian’s shot for the goal.
Nathan Dragisich gave West Allegheny a 2-0 lead at 5:50 as he launched a spot from the middle of the field at the 5-yard line that couldn’t be handled.
The Beavers got their first shot of the game in the 10th minute from Seth Braid. They also picked up a shot each from Alex Gribik and Dallin Glade later in the half.
The Indians added on to their lead at 15:59 as Fletcher Amos put the ball into the goal off a header to give his team a 3-0 lead.
West Allegheny added another score at 25:25 as Nate Graziani launched the ball from long range as it found the back of the net. Graziani almost perfectly placed the ball in the top left corner for the goal.
The 4-0 lead for the Indians held into halftime. West Allegheny led the shot count, 14-3, at the break. DuBois keeper Shadi Hassan had 10 saves in the first 40 minutes.
The Indians kept peppering the goal in the second half, but rarely even had the ball in their own end of the field.
Blunkosky put in his second goal of the contest at 54:53, with this time coming on a header for the opening goal of the half.
After a little more than six minutes, Jacob Schiefelbein sent a rocket from the 25 in for a goal, giving West Allegheny a 6-0 lead.
The Indians put in one last goal from there as Connor Blazer tapped in the ball and found the back of the net with three seconds remaining on the clock to set the final at 7-0.
DuBois, which finished the season at 12-8, will lose seven seniors to graduation next year. However, they still will return a few starters to the team.
West Allegheny will now go to the PIAA Class AAA quarterfinals, where they will take on Lower Dauphin on Saturday at a time and place to be determined. Lower Dauphin defeated Harriton, 4-1, in the first round on Tuesday.