Clinton High School’s soccer team opened up the 2014 season hosting the Wolfpack from Whiteville. Some first game jitters were evident for the young Dark horse squad but in the end they were able to hold off the visitors posting a 4-2 victory in a game called in the seventy-first minute due to lightning in the area.
Clinton got on the scoreboard first when Ivan Palencia hammered in a side net goal off a Spell Carr assist at the 22:02 mark. Palencia’s goal would prove to be the only score of the first half as the teams headed to the break with Clinton holding a slim 1-0 margin. The Dark Horses managed 6 shots on goal while the Dark Horse defense limited Whiteville to only one shot on goal during the first frame.
The Dark Horses came out of the halftime break with a renewed enthusiasm moving the ball better and relentlessly attacking the Wolfpack goal. At the 43:10 mark Spell Carr took a hard foul as he was driving to the goal resulting in a penalty kick by Connor Bass that found the back of the net from close range, giving Clinton a more comfortable 2-0 lead. Whiteville was not ready to fold and would score a goal on a penalty kick of their own at 55:50 to pull back to within one of the Dark Horses.
Spell Carr added an unassisted goal at the 63:40 mark when he deflected a hard shot off the Whiteville goal keeper from a near impossible angle near the end line to stretch the Clinton lead back to two goals. Once again the Wolfpack answered the Dark Horse score with a goal of their own at 67:56 to make the score 3-2. Clinton would add their final goal of the contest at 71:20 when Ivan Palencia took a nice pass from Spell Carr on a break away and sent the ball squarely into the Whiteville goal. The game was called at the 73:22 mark as lightning streaked across the sky above Darkness Soccer Complex.
After the game Clinton coach Brad Spell said, “we have a long way to go and a lot of things to figure out. We have lots of holes in the defense and were too inconsistent in our play overall. We seemed a little nervous, especially early on, but I thought we really improved our play in the second half, moving the ball much better. The first one is in the books and we just have to work to improve.”
Clinton returns to the pitch on Friday when they travel to Maysville for matches against Southwest Onslow on Friday and Havlock on Saturday morning in the Battle at the Beach Tournament. The next home match is Monday, August 25, against the Dixon Bulldogs.
Clinton’s JV soccer team opened their 2014 campaign with an impressive 5-2 win over Whiteville. Trace Glover and Corey Smith had two goals each and Skylar Cannady had one score for the Dark Horses.
Clinton coach Mitchell Brewington said, “I am proud of how our boys played. I thought the first fifteen minutes or so we had some first game jitters but they settled down, stayed focused after giving up an early goal. I was really pleased with their hard work and ability to not get rattled even when they came back and tied us at two goals.”
The JV team’s next match is on the 25th of August against Dixon at home.