DuBOIS — After starting the season on the wrong side in its first two games, the DuBois boys soccer team seems to definitely have things rolling in the right direction over the last week.
Nicholas Graeca booted the only goal of the game, and the Beavers notched their third shutout in a row with a 1-0 win over Hollidaysburg on Tuesday afternoon at the DuBois Area Middle School field.
“We’re getting some leadership and some energy out on the field, and that’s the biggest thing right now,” said DuBois coach Matt Erickson. “We finally have it. We had a rough start to the season. We turned around and beat Punxsy, who we lost to in (the Indiana) Tournament, and we beat them 4-0 last week. We found our energy and our leadership and our excitement out on the field.”
After beating Punxsutawney last Thursday, the Beavers started this week with a 3-0 blanking of Brookville on Monday.
Although the Tigers got the first shot on goal of the game, it was still the Beavers that controlled the pace of play through most of the first half. DuBois led the shot count, 7-2, at halftime, and ultimately beat them in the category, 16-6.
However, Hollidaysburg also did have a few chances off of corner kicks, but on at least a couple different occasions, DuBois goalkeeper Shadi Hassan jumped for a catch, without allowing Hollidaysburg to even get a foot on the ball.
DuBois had a couple good chances in the first half. The first came as Dallin Glade got a shot off as Tiger goalie Seth Lowey slid in for the save. The ball momentarily got behind Lowey, but he regrouped in time to get the ball from going into the net.
DuBois’ Alex Gribik also had a shot go just wide left of the goal in the 30th minute.
The Beavers finally got on the board at the 53:19 mark. Nico McDonald found Graeca in the middle of the field, and Graeca got his left foot to the ball and past Lowey for the score.
“I was happy. I love seeing freshmen score goals. Always,” said Erickson. “He was in the right place. He played a great ball with Nico McDonald up through the middle. He put himself in a great spot, got a good touch and a good shot.”
For the next 10 minutes, Hollidaysburg put up a couple good chances against DuBois. The Tigers’ Connor Pielmeier even hit the goal post in the 62nd minute for the best chance, but Hassan kept everything out of the goal.
Lowey also made a nice stop on DuBois’ Nolan Bussell in the final two minutes of the game, which would have put the game on ice for the Beavers.
Still, the remainder of the game was mostly played on the Hollidaysburg half as time ran out without the Tigers getting off any more shots.
“That’s our third straight shutout, and we’ve only given up three goals this year to the nine we’ve scored,” said Erickson. “Our defense is holding really strong. They’re doing really well.”
Glade led the way for the Beavers with four shots on the day, while Jack Mohney had three shots on goal.
Lowey ended the day with 14 saves, while Hassan stopped four Hollidaysburg shots.
DuBois, which improved to 3-2 on the year, hosts Tyrone on Saturday afternoon.