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Penns Valley and Bellefonte battle to a tie

It was a hot and humid September afternoon and Bellefonte and Penns Valley heated it up even more with a long, physical battle on the pitch. Both sides had numerous chances during regulation, but every attempt was either saved by a goalkeeper, missed wide, or sent over the crossbar into the humidity and oblivion.
“Every day I tell my guys that a shot way over the goal is a ‘lazy shot’ where we’re not following the fundamentals of good shooting.” Said Penns Valley head coach Ken Gore. “We really only had a few go over, but in a very tough scoreless match that could go either way, it’s a good reminder that we need to keep working on our low, hard, corner finishing! Aiden (Culver) and Jack (O’Donald) had a couple great near-finishes that could have put us ahead – but the shots were just a little off target.”
At the half, the Rams and Red Raiders both made some adjustments to their configuration and strategy to gain whatever small advantage they could heading into the 2nd session. A short time into the second forty, a battle for the ball in Penns Valley’s defensive third resulted in a concerning injury to a Bellefonte forward. The trainer and coaches decided that emergency services should be called out of an abundance of caution. The ensuing delay to the match – about 30 minutes – took away any momentum either side had been able to create up to that point.
After the restart, it didn’t take long for the two squads to get back into hard, physical play – but the stalemate continued the rest of the way through regulation and the two 10-minute overtime periods. After being on the pitch for about 140 minutes (including delays and stoppages), players on both sides were spent.
“My guys absolutely played their hearts out today. They were exhausted,” said Gore. “Bellefonte is always a really good team and Scott (Martz) is a really good coach. I’m happy we were able to match up with them this afternoon. The best part for us is – my guys took the challenge from a great squad and continue to build the confidence that we can compete with any team on any given day.”
Although Bellefonte had a number of very dangerous chances near the goal, a stellar career performance by junior goalkeeper Gavin Robb helped hold off the fierce attacks. Robb had 12 saves in the draw, including a few that brought very hard and fast challenges from the Red Raider offense.
(Image caption) Penns Valley junior goalkeeper Gavin Robb prepares to punt the ball after his 10th save.  Robb had 12 saves in a stellar performance in Penns Valley’s match vs. Bellefonte on Monday September 13 in Spring Mills.  (photo credit: Jordan Anderson)

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