BROCKWAY - The Punxsutawney Chucks edged the St. Marys Area Flying Dutch soccer team by a 4-3 score in overtime Monday night in a District 9-AA semifinal game played at Frank Varischetti Field in Brockway.
The Chucks will now meet the Bradford Owls Thursday night at Clarion University for the District 9-AA title.
In last night’s semifinal game, the Chucks wasted little time, scoring with 38:57 left in the first half to take the 1-0 lead.
The two teams battled back and forth, with both having scoring opportunities, but neither were able to find the goal.
With 13:50 left in the first half, Dutchman Jake Reed scored on a free kick from about 30 yards out, knotting the game at 1-1.
Around the 12-minute mark, the Dutch had several scoring chances that just missed the mark as the Chucks dodged a bullet.
Neither team scored the remainder of the half, and the tally remained even at 1-1.
St. Marys had six shots on goal to Punxsy’s three. Dutch keeper Ryan Uhl came up with two saves, while Punxsy keeper David Triponey had four stops. St. Marys had three corner kicks to Punxsutawney’s 1.
The second half was similar to the first, as the Chucks got on the board with 34:33 left in regulation to take the 2-1 lead.
Punxsy was able to add another goal with 21:27 left to take a 3-1 lead.
St. Marys did not give up: Reed scored his second goal of the game when he knocked the ball in off an assist by Connor Rohrback, making the score 3-2.
The Dutch kept the pressure on, as with 3:37 left, Reed scored his third goal of the game off a corner kick by Michael Fox to knot the game at 3-all.
The Dutch had seven shots in the second half to eight by the Chucks. Uhl had five saves, while Triponey had four. Each team had two corner kicks.
In the 15-minute overtime period, both teams played most of the time in the middle of the field. About midway through, the Chucks began pressuring the Dutch. With 4:23 left in overtime, Punxsy’s Kody Young took a shot from the left side that just made it over the outstretched hands of Uhl into the top of the right side of the net, giving the Chucks the 4-3 win.
“This was probably one of the most exciting games I’ve seen,” said St. Marys coach Russ Micale. “Both teams played well. Unfortunately for us, we came up on the wrong end.”
“I wish Punxsutawney luck against Bradford Thursday,” added Micale.
Senior members of the Dutch team playing in their final game were Nathan Hansen, Nick Keller, Ryan Mancuso, Jake Reed, Connor Rohrback and Ryan Uhl.
The Dutch finished their season with a 13-4-2 record.