Tuesday’s District 6 Class AA opener between Philipsburg-Osceola and Somerset appeared ticketed for overtime.
That’s until the Krise brothers got together.
Austin Krise fired a long throw-in to brother Skyler, who headed in the game-winner with just 1:05 remaining as the Mounties turned back Somerset’s upset bid with a 2-1 triumph at Hollidaysburg High School.
The sixth-seeded Mounties (10-5-2), the two-time defending district champions, will face third-seeded Juniata at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Bald Eagle Area in the quarterfinals.
Philipsburg-Osceola had dominated play throughout the contest, but needed to rally with two goals in the second half.
Austin Krise got the Mounties even after a tripping call about 10 minutes into the second half. A perfect direct kick from about 30 yards near the right sidelines from Zach Ament curled into the middle to Krise, and the 6-foot-3 junior headed it past Somerset keeper McKinley Lensbouer.
“It felt pretty good,” said Austin Krise, who was robbed twice in the first half on spectacular saves by the diminutive Lensbouer. “It felt like things were changing pretty well. Everything was going better and we were playing better.”
“I figured at that point we were good,” said P-O coach Shawn Inlow of the tying goal. “It was going to take lightning in a bottle to get another one on us. ... When we got the equalizer, I figured it was a matter of time because we were getting good chances. I thought even if we went into overtime we were going to be alright.”
It nearly did go to extra minutes.
Following a P-O corner kick, Somerset touched the ball out of bounds near the left corner.
Austin Krise went out for the throw-in and his long heave went over everyone in the middle of the box to Skyler Krise, who headed the ball into the open right side of the net with 1:05 left. The Mounties ran out the clock from there.
“We practice that a lot,” Austin Krise said. “He’s my main target. I usually throw it in to him. That’s what I try to do. ... That was probably my longest throw. It was the best throw I’ve had. I guess it paid off.”
“They kind of know where each other is going,” Inlow said. “Austin does have a bomb on his arm. We don’t like to send our best striker and header out to throw the ball much. The chips were down, we were running out time and we got it. ... If we’re not going to get a conventional goal — which I thought we should have had several — we’ll throw it in and try to head it.
Somerset coach Mark Wassilchalk lamented having to defend Austin Krise’s heave.
“It’s just like having a corner kick,” Wassilchalk said. “It makes it difficult. We really didn’t feel that the ball should have been in that deep, but it is what it is.”
Wassilchalk’s 11th-seeded club had the Mounties on the ropes thanks to Elliott Dick’s incredible first-half goal.
After an outstanding save by Lensbouer, the Golden Eagles were able to counter. Dick took a pass, sprinted through three Mounties near midfield and dribbled in on P-O goal Mitchell Winters. Dick waited for Winters to commit and flicked the ball over the prone keeper into the left corner with 1:41 remaining in the half.
“That doesn’t happen every day, a 100-yard counter-attack like that,” Inlow said. “That was a great effort on (Dick’s) part.”
“When you have someone of that quality it’s always a danger,” Wassilchalk said of his senior striker. “It’s a threat anytime you’re out on the field. ... He did a nice job of finishing that opportunity. We just needed more opportunities.”
Somerset netted just five shots on Winters, who made three saves.
P-O had 12 shots and a 6-2 edge in corner kicks. Lensbouer made seven saves.
“He was manly when he had to be because Austin was in on him with a couple of real menacing chances,” Inlow said of Lensbouer. “He came out and covered. My compliments to him.”
Austin Krise says the win continues a string of good play and hopes the Mounties can net another district title.
“In the middle of the season, we went on a 6-0 run and we were playing great,” Krise said. “We’ve been playing great ever since. ... We don’t want to lose a game here in districts. It would be nice to have three in a row. ”