WILMINGTON – Sampson County Soccer Club (SCS) sent their U15 women to the Cape Fear Soccer Club’s (CFSC) Beach Classic tournament this past weekend. The Clinton United women finished second overall in the highly competitive Gold division against a multitude of teams from eastern North Carolina. The team is composed of some Clinton High School (CHS) underclassmen, three Sampson Middle School (SMS) athletes and one home schooled player.
Under unseasonably warm sunny skies the girls started strong against Fuquay Varina Athletic Association. New players Carrie Spedding (eighth-grade home schooler), freshman Kam Miller and sophomore Nicole Spell provided offensive support with clever play by freshman veteran Blake Daniel. Much of the offense flowed through the physical midfield play of Halla Gilpin, Katey Yang, Reagan Barefoot, all freshmen, and Carol Ann Mullins (SMS 8th grader). Katey scored with a lovely left foot curling boot from outside the 18-yard box into the left upper net. Two counter attacks appeared to be sure goals for Fuquay but were deftly blocked by SMS eighth-grade goalie Edye Jane Carr. The game was put away with two goals from Sophomore Alaina Capps.
The second match of group play featured a defensive standoff between SCS and Johnston United Soccer Association (JUSA), where JUSA ultimately score the lone winning goal off a cross bar rebound strike.
Sunday morning the tournament host team, CFSC Wave Blue, played a bruising game with fast moving wingers and strikers. The Wave Blue had previously beaten JUSA during the regular season 1-0, struck first for the 1-0 lead in the first half. It appeared that the same fate may befall SCS. After a tongue lashing from guest Coach Valenti for poor midfield and striker play during the break; SCS produced a dominating second half. The defensive line of CHS freshmen Sarah Sarp, Corey Spell, Lauryn Worley and Olivia Sessoms furiously turned away every attack flipping the ball to the midfield for repetitive SCS counter attacks. With less than 10 minutes to play a brilliant through ball was played to Reagan who promptly pounded in the tying goal. This was shortly followed by a breakaway opportunity by Alaina for the game winner.
JUSA and SCS would meet again in the championship match, but unfortunately JUSA’s larger and deeper bench would prove too much as JUSA once again overcame the exhausted Clinton United women two goals to none.