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Juniata tops BEA in D6 soccer opener; wins 3-0

Juniata 3, Bald Eagle Area 0

JUN 1 2 -0

BEA 0 0 -0


First half

JUN – Tad Shellenberger unassisted, 10:40.

Second half

JUN – Stuart Dare unassisted, 37:50.

JUN – Jelvin Cardenas unassisted, 6:33.

Shots on goal: Juniata 27. Bald Eagle 6.

Corners: Juniata 6. Bald Eagle 0.

Saves: Conner Robinson (BEA) 18, Johnny Dessin (JUN) 3.

By Kenny Varner

WINGATE – After a successful 2018 campaign which saw them move onto play in the District 6 Class AA championship, the Juniata Indians boys soccer team got back to its post season winning ways as it defeated a feisty and talented Bald Eagle team 3-0 Thursday in this year’s opening round of the D6 playoffs.

After a very back and forth start, the Indians were able to take advantage of an opening in the Bald Eagle Area defense with 10:40 left until the intermission to take a 1-0 lead.

Standing around the 20, Juniata’s Tad Shellenberger blasted a screamer to the net that just skimmed off of the fingertips of Bald Eagle goalie Conner Robinson, giving the Indians a 1-0 advantage heading into the half. Robinson was a workhorse for the Eagles by posting 18 saves on the day.

“First off a lot of respect to coach Jason Bair and what he does here at Bald Eagle. He gets these kids prepared  every single game and we knew that. We knew we were in for a dog fight. We told the kids you are just going to have to weather the storm the first ten minutes because they are going to come at you with everything they got,”said Juniata Coach Jared Byler. “I feel like we did that pretty well. It took us a while to find our Rhythm that possession style base we like to do. But once we did we were able to do what we are accustomed to doing.”

Coming out of the second half, the Indians upped their intensity and went right at the heart of the Eagles’ defense.

It paid off as it was able to push the ball inside the Bald Eagle Area back-third and eventually pushing its second goal of the game through.

Stuart Dare made a sliding dive kick that went over a sliding Robinson and notched his team’s second goal with 37:20 left in the half.

From there, the Juniata offense pinned the Eagles in their end for much of the second half.

As the game started to wind down, the Indians added an insurance goal with 6:33 left when Jelvin Cardenas scored on an unassisted goal, making it a 3-0 contest.

But the Eagles battled to the end but they just weren’t able to penetrate the very tough defense of the Indians.

For the Eagles it was a year of redemption after missing the playoffs last year with a below .500 record. The team finished with a 12-6 record and a fourth seed in the post season. Quite a turnaround for the fiesty squad.

“We worked out tails off tonight. We didn’t get enough chances to test the keeper. But hats to them. They did a good job,” said Bald Eagle coach Jason Bair. “They deserves to win it but I feel bad for my seniors. We wound up 12-6-1 which is nothing to shake our heads at.”

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