PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsutawney Chucks boys' soccer team met a tough opponent in Philipsburg Saturday in Punxsutawney, but Tyler Presloid notched another hat trick, earning his team the 3-2 victory.
"We were able to hold them off," Punxsy head coach Phil Shenkle said. "They were a very quality opponent, so we were very happy to come away with a win."
Punxsy led 2-0 at halftime after Presloid scored two goals; the first was assisted by Tanner Evans, and the second came from Trevor Peace.
Philipsburg then battled back in the second half, cutting its deficit to one, but Dane Roken set up Presloid again for another score.
Philisburg kept the competition tough, scoring again. With just under 25 minutes left, the Chucks led 3-2.
"It was a very tense 25 minutes," Shenkle said.
The Mountaineers then found the back of the net, but the goal was called back due to a penalty, and the Chucks held on for the victory.
Shenkle said he was not expecting Philipsburg to be such steep competition because the Chucks confidently beat them last year. But Philipsburg struggled last year with the loss of several of their best players.
"Apparently, they're having quite the banner year," Shenkle said. "It was brutal so far as they were so much better than the last time we played them."
The Chucks have been on a bit of a roller coaster the past six games, picking up a win against Elk County Catholic but then falling to DuBois and Brookville. They then beat ECC again before losing to Brockway. Shenkle said the win over Philipsburg was just what his team needed.
"This game was really big for us," he said. "We needed some momentum to help us finish the season strong."
The Chucks' season is winding down with only two games remaining on the schedule. The team will travel to Karns City at 6 p.m. today to take on the a tough squad in the Gremlins.
"Karns City is a very good opponent," Shenkle. "We were fortunate to beat them last year, but they've had a great program for the last several years."
The final game of the regular season will be played next Monday when the Chucks host Clearfield. Despite having two difficult games left to play, Shenkle is confident in his team's ability.
"It's one of those things where if we come in and play well, I like our chances against anybody," he said.
Although the Chucks are not quite finished with the regular season, Shenkle said the playoffs are already something he's thinking about.
"We're definitely record-wise in good shape, but they're always in the back of my mind," Shenkle said. "There's always that realizing, what do we need to do to play against a quality opponent."