Dark Horses shut out Pender


By Mike Carter - Sports Writer



Ivan Ponce, #14, fires the ball past the outstretched arms of Pender’s goalie for this first half goal. To view more photos from this match, visit the sports section on atthe18foto.smugmug.com.


Clinton’s soccer team returned to action for the first time in a week, when they hosted the Pender Patriots on Wednesday evening.

The game was originally scheduled to be played at Pender, but rain soaked fields forced school administrators to move the game to Clinton. The Dark Horses quickly extinguished any hopes the Patriots may have had of pulling the upset, as they put on a relentless first half attack, pounding Pender into submission with a 6-0 win.

The Dark Horses came out hungry after their long layoff firing shot after shot at the Pender goal early in the game. Clinton head coach Brad Spell commented on his team’s early play, saying, “I thought we came out and moved the ball in the first half really well, we just couldn’t get it in the hole. We must have banged 5 or 6 balls off the poles and pipes in the first 25 minutes of the game.”

In spite of the missed opportunities, Clinton managed to build a 3-0 halftime lead.

Ivan Palencia scored Clinton’s first goal off an assist from John Fox in the fourth minute of the contest to stake the Horses to the early 1-0 lead. Ten minutes later Ivan Ponce scored an unassisted goal when he found himself behind the Patriot goal keeper for a chip shot goal in the fourteenth minute. Spell Carr wrapped up the first half scoring with a goal in minute thirty-six off an assist from Andrew Warren to give the Horses their 3-0 lead at the break.

Clinton seemed to have a let down in the second half, at least in the early going, with a mini scoring drought. It took the Dark Horses nearly 24 minutes of the second frame before they were able to ring the bell again. Spell Carr drove the ball deep into the box and fired a shot into the goal for a 4-0 Clinton advantage in the sixty third minute, scoring his second goal of the night. Carr got the hat trick just four minutes later when Andrew Warren found him streaking down the middle. Carr took the pass from Warren and hammered the ball into the Patriot goal.

Ivan Palencia pulled the trigger on the Dark Horses final score of the night in the seventy second minute. Palencia dribbled the ball into the box and fired in an unassisted goal to give the Horses their final margin of victory at 6-0.

Clinton’s coach Spell was impressed with his team’s readiness after their long layoff, adding, “I was afraid we might have a mental lull because of the long layoff, but we came out and played really hard in the first half. The second half was a little different, we didn’t come out smoking like we did in the first half and we had to go away from our 10 in, 10 out substitution pattern and do some different things.”

“I am really happy with the way we played tonight, this is a good team win for us”, concluded Spell. The win over Pender improves the Dark Horses to 15-0-1 overall and 6-0 in Four County Conference play. Clinton’s next match will be Friday evening at the Dark Horse soccer complex when they host the Trask Titans with kickoff scheduled for 6pm.

By Mike Carter

Sports Writer

Ivan Ponce, #14, fires the ball past the outstretched arms of Pender’s goalie for this first half goal. To view more photos from this match, visit the sports section on atthe18foto.smugmug.com.
http://clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_DSC_4503.jpgIvan Ponce, #14, fires the ball past the outstretched arms of Pender’s goalie for this first half goal. To view more photos from this match, visit the sports section on atthe18foto.smugmug.com.
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