BROCKWAY, Pa. – Down 1-0 at halftime, the Bradford Owls showed no panic.
Rewatch the match:
Andy Mangold and Ward Kennedy notched second-half goals as the Owls rallied past DuBois, 2-1 to capture their third consecutive District 9 Class 3A boys’ soccer crown.
Mangold’s goal came with 25:04 left in regulation, while Kennedy netted what proved to be the game-winner with 20:43 to play.
Kennedy’s goal came on a rebound after Alex Rimer’s deep shot bounced off the crossbar and helped earn him Allegheny Grille of Foxburg Player of the Game honors.
“We just knew, as seniors, we had to come back and win our senior year,” Kennedy said during the Cole Orthodontic Associates postgame interview. “We wanted it so badly. Jerry Dragoone, one of our coaches, his favorite saying is comeback victories are the sweetest, so we just lived with that, came out as hard as we could and we won.”
See Kennedy’s full interview:
The Owls came up big defensively after Isaac Brigger scored off a Landon Akers corner kick to give DuBois a 1-0 lead with just 3:56 to go in the first half.
In fact, even after the Owls scored to take the lead, they remained the aggressor, something coach Peter Butler was quick to point out.
“We won because of enthusiasm, sheer enthusiasm,” Butler said. “We wanted it more at the end.”
Tristan Dragoone had to leave the game briefly after a collision in the second half, had a strong game in net, part of a collectively strong effort from Bradford’s defense. In his brief absence, Aiden Abbott came in and helped the Owls turn away a DuBois corner kick.
With the win, the Owls advance to play either Bellefonte or Hollidaysburg (that game is on Tuesday) in the District 6-9 subregional on Saturday. The winner will advance to the first round of the PIAA championships on Tuesday, Nov. 7.