FISHERTOWN — Chestnut Ridge has long viewed Bedford as the measuring stick when it comes to local boys soccer.
The Lions measured up on Tuesday, using a pair of goals in the second half for a 2-0 home win over their county rivals.
Chestnut Ridge’s victory could also be critical for eventual playoff seeding in District 5-AA, where all four teams (Somerset, Everett, Bedford, and Ridge) are currently separated by two games or less in the loss column.
“We look forward to playing Bedford every year,” said Lions’ assistant coach Dan Crist. “To us, they are the benchmark to where we should be. (Bedford coach) Barrett (Schrock) has a great program and he’s a good coach. Beating them proves to us where we can play consistently.”
Chestnut Ridge outshot Bedford 6-2 in the first half but failed to find the net despite multiple chances from close range. The Bisons also had an opportunity in the final minute of the half, but a free kick from the corner was headed over the crossbar.
Just less than eight minutes into the second half, Chestnut Ridge tallied the game-winning goal.
A long shot by Evan Roose towards the net was inadvertently headed by a Bison past goalkeeper Chris Klinger.
The own goal put the Lions up 1-0 with 32:07 left in regulation.
Chestnut Ridge used its transition game to gain a bit of insurance, with Roose collecting the ball on his side of the field and sprinting with it down the players’ sideline before making a splendid pass to Gavyn Walter.
Walter one-timed the pass with his right foot into the goal and it was 2-0 at the 18:47 mark.
Bedford had a late opportunity to cut the margin, but Ridge’s Ben Smith dove to his right for a save on a breakaway attempt from Colby Barnhouse.
Smith had six saves in the win, and Klinger stopped nine shots at the other end.
“We’re more focused (than earlier in the season),” said Crist. “The kids have had the ability.
“In this game, we were laser-focused. We didn’t let up and stuck to our original gameplan.”
Both teams play again on Thursday. Chestnut Ridge, 9-3, will host Bishop McCort. Bedford, 11-4, is at Penn Cambria.
CHESTNUT RIDGE 2, BEDFORD 0
Bedford 0 0 — 0
Chestnut Ridge 0 2 — 2