Clinton returned to the Dark Horse Soccer Complex on Monday night to face conference foe West Bladen in a Four County match. The Knights kept the game close for the first thirty minutes, packing their end of the field and turning back the Dark Horses on nearly every threat, but were eventually unable to hold off the Dark Horse onslaught. In the end the Horses were too much for the Knights, shutting out the visitors in dominating fashion by the score of 6-0.
The Dark Horses struck for their first goal when Ivan Palencia scored in the sixth minute off an assist from Luke Byrd, putting Clinton on top 1-0. The West Bladen defense hung tough as the Dark Horses easily possessed the ball for 95 percent of the game sending multiple shots toward the Knights’ goal.
Clinton finally broke through again in the 33rd minute when Peter Darden scored unassisted to give the Horses a 2-0 lead. The first score of the match inspired Clinton to pick up the pace and Darden scored his second goal of the night a short three minutes later, assisted by Ivan Palencia to move the lead to 3-0. Darden wrapped up the first half scoring with his third goal in the 39th minute to send Clinton to the break with a 4-0 lead.
The second half brought more of the same from West Bladen as they packed the defense deep in their own territory hoping to keep Clinton at bay. The plan worked to some degree as the Dark Horses were only able to scratch out two more goals. Andrew Warren netted a goal in the 53rd minute assisted by Luke Byrd and Jose Vasquez to give Clinton a 5-0 lead.
Peter Darden scored his fourth goal of the night off another Jose Vasquez assist in the 75th minute, giving Clinton a 6-0 margin and closing out the scoring for the contest. The four goal performance for Darden was the second time this season that the freshman wing has scored four goals in a match.
After the game, Clinton head coach Brad Spell, praised his team saying, “I thought we played very well tonight, very unselfishly, moving the ball well. We did a good job of keeping most of our passes on the ground and concentrated on our first touch. West Bladen came into the game with a good plan and it worked for them for the first thirty minutes, but once we scored it seemed to open the gates for us a little.”
Spell could find very little negative to say about his teams play, adding “we have to remain focused on every single game, keeping that fire in our bellies for each game and practice. We have a chance to do something really special this season and we want to just continue to enjoy our journey.”
The win over the Knights runs Clinton’s record to 14-0-1 overall and 5-0 in Four County Conference play. The Horses travel to Trask on Wednesday evening for another conference tilt against the Titans.