Caleb Shively couldn’t have picked a better time to change the zero in his career goal column to a one.
The senior’s first-half tally, and sophomore Austin Krise’s goal early in the second half, helped push Phillipsburg-Osceola past Tyrone 2-0 Thursday at Tiger Stadium through heavy rain and some fog.
The sixth-seeded Mounties won their second consecutive District 6 Class AA title and will return to the PIAA tournament. P-O will be back on the field Tuesday for a first-round meeting with Oley Valley, a 2-0 loser to Pequea Valley in Thursday’s District 3 final. The site and time of the game will be determined later.
The top-seeded Golden Eagles (14-5-1) were shut out for just the second time all season.
“I haven’t had a more special moment (in soccer),” said Shively, whose mother picked up a district final T-shirt during halftime to commemorate the moment. “It was pretty exciting.”
P-O knocked off the top three seeds for the title, getting the best of Forest Hills and Bellefonte before stopping Tyrone.
The Mounties exited last year’s Class AA state tournament in the first round, but thanks in part to Shively, they’ll get another shot next week.
With just inside four minutes to play in the first half, senior Hunter Honan had two consecutive corner kicks cleared behind the end line to safety by Tyrone. On the third, however, the ball was deflected to an open Shively, who took his time from the middle-left side of the box and beat a diving Dominic Berry on the far side with 2:11 remaining before halftime.
“The ball would keep coming through on those corners, so I kept doing what I was doing,” said Shively, who came off the bench. “Fortunately, I got a good bounce and took it.”
About a minute later, Krise got behind the Tyrone defense and drilled one from a bad angle with his left foot, but Berry knocked it aside to keep the Golden Eagles within one at halftime. The Mounties took four of their five first-half corners and three of their five shots in the final four minutes of the half.
Krise converted his next scoring opportunity of the game 7:04 into the second half. With his back to the goal, he headed a deep throw-in from Honan past Berry to close the scoring.
Tyrone knocked on the door a minute into the second half when senior Alex Bartlett struck a beautiful ball toward the top-right corner that P-O keeper Mitchell Winters was able to get a hand on and deflect off the crossbar and out of play. The ensuing corner was headed right into the goalkeeper’s chest. Winters had seven saves in the shutout — with four stops on Bartlett alone.
With a two-goal lead late in the second half, P-O coach Shawn Inlow decided to rotate strikers back to mark Bartlett, the Mountain League’s Most Valuable Player in 2013.
“We kept rotating fresh legs on him all night,” Inlow said. “Because he will hurt you.
“So we said, ‘He doesn’t touch the ball. Wherever he goes, you go first.’”
The senior couldn’t break through to hurt the Mounties. He did put one in the back of the net, but to it was nullified by an offsides call. Noah D’Angelo had launched a ball from 35 yards out that Winters blocked and Bartlett pounced on the rebound, but the forward was whistled for offsides.
Tyrone, which reached the District 6 final for the first time in its history, didn’t register a shot on goal in the game’s final 10 minutes and took most of its chances from outside the box.
The Golden Eagles moved the ball well through midfield in the first half — one in which it dominated the opening 30 minutes — put couldn’t put the finishing touches on any runs.
“These guys, they didn’t let up,” Tyrone coach Nick Miller said. “We kept hammering away, kept hammering away. It’s just one of those games where we couldn’t finish.”