Bedford’s Blake Baer scored with 8:41 remaining to give the Bisons a 2-1 win Thursday night against Somerset in the District 5 Class AA boys soccer championship.
It was the third straight district title for Bedford, which will take on District 9 champ Bradford 7 p.m. Saturday in a PIAA sub-regional at Northern Bedford.
“This is a really special time for us,” said Baer, a junior. “It has a really special place in our hearts. This was kind of like our first goal.”
Bedford (18-1) and Somerset (11-5-2) had played each other twice earlier this season with the Bisons winning both times 3-1, but this time it was for a district crown.
“The third time (to play a team) is always the hardest,” Baer said. “I think Somerset really stepped up. They had nothing to lose in this game. They really showed it. They played well. We were really fortunate to come out on top. It very easily could have gone the other way.”
Bedford coach Jeff Thomas said the two teams know each other very well.
“You knew that they had seen what we do so we had to keep mixing it up to try to get different matchups,” Coach Thomas said.
It was a spirited battle throughout the entire game for both squads.
Garrett Thomas got Bedford on the board scoring with 19:33 left in the first half.
Somerset answered at 14:48 on a Kody Williams goal set up by a through pass from Seth Law.
Each team had chances in the second half, but neither could get the upper hand until Baer was able to hit the mark.
“We just needed a goal,” Baer said. “I was feeling really hungry for the ball. It popped on my feet and God blessed me with a really good shot. The ball ricocheted around and I was able to put it into the back of the net.”
Baer had just come back into the game after going out with a cramp.
“I had to go out and do some stretching and my leg was cramping even when I took the shot, but when the ball went in, I really didn’t feel the pain anymore,” Baer said. “I knew the team needed that goal and I just had to step up.”
Somerset coach Mark Wassilchalk was emotional after the Golden Eagles defeat.
“It’s hard tasting this (loss) two years in a row,” the Somerset coach said. “The game last year was in overtime and this year it was close enough to be in overtime.
“For this particular group (of players), what we lost last year, not many people gave us a chance of being competitive in this game. I only have three seniors and a couple of exchange students. This group overachieved and I’m proud of them.”