Somerset had its chances. But at the end of the day, the only thing that counts is now many goals go into the net.
The Golden Eagles outplayed and outshot Juniata everywhere but on the scoreboard.
Thanks to Juniata freshman Christen Baublitz, Somerset fell victim 2-0 to the defending District 6 Class AA girls soccer champions in the semifinals Thursday in Hollidaysburg.
It basically took one goal to take down the Eagles, and that came early off the foot of the freshman.
The winning goal came midway through the first half. The rest of the game was played between the 18s – up until the final two minutes, when Baublitz added her second goal of the game.
“We had our opportunities – they were there – we just could not capitalize,” Somerset coach Renee Ross said. “I’m disappointed, obviously, in the outcome. I’m never disappointed in my team.”
Somerset finished the season 12-7-1. Ross couldn’t have been happier with her team this season.
“They did everything I wanted them to do,” Ross said. “They played really hard all season and did everything I asked.”
And thanks to some stellar play in goal for Juniata, Somerset couldn’t find the net – although the Eagles had 17 shots to Juniata’s 12.
Juniata keeper Joelle Winey was forced to stop seven shots in the first half, all of which were pretty good looks from the Eagles.
Somerset went on a
10-minute spurt midway through the first half that should have led to an Eagles’ goal, but didn’t.
“She was good,” Ross said. “If only we would have capitalized on our early chances. I know we outshot them and matched them skill wise. We just couldn’t sneak one in.
“Unfortunately we got that early goal and just couldn’t come back.”
Winey finished with 10 saves. Juniata coach Brian Strawser said she saved at least four Somerset goals in the first 40 minutes of play.
“Joelle saved us in the first half,” Strawser said. “No ifs, ands or buts about it. She saved us four times at least. She came up huge.”
The Eagles seemed to control most of the first half. The home team on the scoreboard played more physical and were much bigger than the Juniata squad. Butthat didn’t stop the Indians from hanging onto the scoreless tie, until Baublitz broke it.
After the Indians were starting to maintain possession in their own zone, Baublitz worked hard to get in position in from of Somerset keeper Hope Griffith. And nearly 20 minutes after she took over for her sister in the midfield, the Indians were on the scoreboard – 1-0.
“Christen Baublitz did a good job finishing that first opportunity she had,” Strawser said. “It was the first game she was playing in the middle there without Lauren.”
From the kickoff, the game was physical – something Strawser expected and was OK with. But it would take another 68 minutes for the Indians to completely ice the game.
The Eagles continued to press the Indians all the way into the second half.
With more opportunities, and better looks at the goal, Somerset was on the net. It just couldn’t find a clear look through Winey. Brianna Trent had a few looks early for the Eagles but couldn’t capitalize.
Just after the opening kick, Trent was left open on the right just outside the box. Her shot went wide.
Just a minute later, Madison McKinley, Lexy Pucci and Hannah Sembower each had
opportunities to get on past Winey, but couldn’t. The second half was much indicative of the first. Somerset continued to play better than the Indians, but nothing would go in. Finally, with less than two minutes to play, Baublitz finished off the Eagles with a goal off of Juniata’s second corner of the game.
“We always play hard,” Ross said. “We came out and play our best. I’m so proud of them, they gave everything they had.”