DuBOIS — It’s not often that a losing goalkeeper can be mentioned as one of of the bets players on the pitch, but that was certainly the case for DuBois Christian School’s Ethan Bishop Monday in a 5-0 setback to Blair County Christian.
The Eagles senior keeper made one tough save after another to help keep his team in the game against the Eagles, who entered the contest as the top team in the Allegheny Christian Athletic Association (ACAA) West Division.
Bishop finished with 19 saves, including several diving stops, as Blair County peppered him with 31 shots in the game while keeping the ball on the DCS defensive side of the field for a majority of the game.
The Eagles keeper stood tall though, and while he still allowed five goals, that total was the second-fewest Blair County has scored this season. The Bobcats (6-0 ACAA, 8-0 overall) had outscored their opponents 53-8 in their first seven victories, with their season low in goals coming in a 4-3 victory over Great Commission at home on Sept. 5.
Conversely, a pair Blair County keepers, including starters Landen Barnes, didn’t have to make a single save on three DCS shots in the game.
“We started slow, but this was a very skilled team we played, and we just didn’t match up to them all all,” said Eagles coach Scott Mowrey. “Our kids really didn’t get into the game really. In the second half they put their subs in I think, and that gave us a little bit of life. But overall, we were just overmatched tonight.”
Mowrey had high praise for Bishop’s effort in the loss.
“Ethan has been our best player all year, no doubt about that,” he said. “And, he played well tonight. He kept us close there at the beginning, but when you face that many shots, you’re going to give up some goals. They made some great shots to beat him, and we just couldn’t keep.”
Blair County established its dominance in the possession battle early in the game and kept the pressure on Bishop for the entire first half. The Bobcats racked up 17 first-half shots, with Bishop recording nine saves — several of which were spectacular stops.
The Bobcats did manage to get three shots past Bishop, with Jonathon Hight opening the scoring 8:33 into the game. However, the score remained 1-0 until late in the half thanks to Bishop’s effort.
Blair County finally managed to add to its lead with 9:15 left in the half when Hudson Dull blasted home a penalty kick. Dull drew the spot kick when he was pulled down making a run in the box.
Davis Dull gave Blair County a 3-0 lead at the break when he arched a shot over the leaping arm of Bishop with 7:16 left on the first-half clock.
The Bobcats continued to keep possession of the ball throughout the second half and pushed their to 4-0 when Hudson Dull fired a shot just inside the near post past a diving Bishop for his second goal of the game.
DuBois Christian mustered its first shot of the game with just over 10:00 minutes remaining on an indirect kick near the penalty spot when Barnes was called for picking up a backpass by a defender.
The Eagles close-range shot never made it to the net as it was blocked by a defender. Blair County corralled the loose ball and made a run up the field, with Micah Nicodemus scoring on a long shot that got over top Bishop and under the crossbar with 9:33 to play.
DuBois Christian nearly got a goal back with 4:00 remaining when Garrett Metzger made a strong run into tge Bobcat box on the right side. However, his shot rang off the post.
Eagle Zaden Thomas also had an open look with 2:14 on the clock but saw his shot sail high over the net.
DuBois Christian (2-3 ACAA, 2-5 overall) is back in action today at Centre County Christian.