Clinton and Richlands renewed an old rivalry on Wednesday evening at the Darkness Soccer Complex. The two teams squared off in a non-conference battle before heading into their respective conference schedules. Neither squad was a match for the weather as the game was shortened due to lightning in the area at the 42 minute mark with Richlands holding a 4-1 edge over the Dark Horses.
Richlands came out of the blocks early scoring a goal off a free kick deep in Dark Horse territory at the 1:54 mark and netting a second score at 17:19 off a breakaway. The Wildcats were quick to add to their lead when they punched in their third goal at 19:04 and continued their scoring barrage with a fourth score at the 20:59 mark to put the Dark Horses in a hole that would prove too deep to climb out of.
The Dark Horses did not lie down. In fact, their play improved in the final 10 minutes of the half as they broke through the Richlands defense with Ivan Palencia putting the ball in the onion bag with Spell Carr assisting on the score at the 29:04 mark. Spurred on by the momentum of their first score, Clinton had two or three more opportunities to score before the end of the half but each threat was turned back by a stingy Wildcat defense, and the half ended with Richlands holding a 4-1 lead.
The second half started with clouds thickening and rumbles of thunder on the horizon. The weather won the day a short two minutes into the second half when game officials decided the threat of lightning was too close to continue. The match was eventually called due to weather with Richlands taking home a 4-1 victory in the weather shortened match.
After the game, Coach Spell commented on his team’s performance saying, “once again we gave up some early scores getting down 2-0 and being in a position of having an uphill battle right out of the gates.” Spell continued, saying “I was proud that our guys continued to battle, and I thought we had a real good chance to get it to 4-2 before halftime but just could not punch it in”. Spell said “it does not get any easier, we have one more non-conference game on Friday, then we get into conference so we have to learn from our mistakes. “
The Dark Horse JV defeated the Richland’s JV by a score of 4-2 on Wednesday afternoon. Skylar Cannady had two goals with Luke Swartz and Kade Sutton each adding a goal for Clinton. Coach Mitchell Brewington said “the boys played well tonight and we have something to show for it. We are coming together as a team and I am proud of them.”
Clinton travels to Cary on Friday for a match against perennial power, Newton-Conover, at Wake Med Soccer Park. The loss to Richlands moves Dark Horses record to 3-2-1 on the season.