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Juniata captures D6 title; tops Bearcats 2-1 in thriller

By Kenny Varner

ATLOONA – It was a fight to the finish as the Juniata boys soccer team was able to survive a late barrage at their goal to come through with a highlight filled competitive District 6 Class AA championship game against a tough Huntingdon team.

Juniata topped the Bearcats 2-1.

Last season, the Indians finished as the D6 runner ups but this season they were able to add another page to its recent success story.

Leading the way in the contest was the goalkeeping skills of the Indians’ goalie Johnny Dessin.

Dessin was near perfect on the night as only one snuck past him while he collected six saves.

Two of them came when his team needed it to mast.

In the thrilling last seconds of the contest.

Leading 2-1, the Bearcats collected a corner opportunity and launched the ball in directly at the Juniata goal Area, after three shots, two were blocked by the Juniata defensive back line, while Dessin captured the game winning save and cleared it to secure the win.

In a very high tempo battle of two similarly built teams, the game was a thrill a minute ride of exchanging possessions, defensive battles and strong goalie play.

After a scoreless first half, all the real excitement came in the second.

Juniata scores first when Stuart Dare squeaked a shot just past Bearcat goalie Isaac Snare, making it 1-0 with 26:27 left.

Defensively both teams took a strong stand as for the next 15 minutes the game remained in the Indians’ favor.

But with 12:57 left, the Bearcats tied the game at one when Dylan Stiffler hit a goal on his team’s first shot of the second half.

However, the night belonged to the Indians as they refused to finish as runner ups for the second year.

With 7:47 to go, when Dare picked up goal number two, helping send his team to the PIAAs and capturing the D6 title.

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