In a dramatic matchup on Saturday during the fourth round of the NCHSAA 2A State Soccer Playoffs, the Dixon Lady Bulldogs avenged their loss earlier this season to the Clinton Lady Dark Horses, duking it out for the 1-0 win.
It was a battle from the beginning. Both teams were riding big win streaks into the game, both winning their conferences with undefeated league records. However, since the two teams’ last encounter, Dixon’s offensive front had strategically trained. The visiting team drove the match’s tempo, with Dixon junior Beatrice Fretwell scoring the lone goal of the game in the first half on a beautiful header that was just out of reach of goalkeeper Edye Jane Carr.
Not even a lightning delay with 15 minutes left on the clock could disrupt the intensity of the players, who returned to a field soaked with an ongoing heavy rainfall.
Despite rallying morale during the half-hour pause, Clinton couldn’t surmount Dixon’s agile defensive line and the quick feet of Bulldog goalkeeper Shyanne Wodtka.
“It was a heck of a game against the strong Clinton team,” said Dixon coach Josh King. “The girls played hard and they left it all out on the field. Clinton is a tremendous team with great coaching. They gave us a heck of a fight, which is something you expect this deep in the playoffs. It was a fight all the way through and I’m proud of our effort.”
Clinton head coach Jeff Smith echoed that sentiment.
“We were outplayed. They got their chance and they put it away. It was good fun though — the girls played well in the second half, but we just can’t get over that hump.”
It was a heavy loss for Clinton, whose season now closes at 22-2-2 overall.
The Lady Bulldogs now advance to the East Regional Finals, which will pit them in a rematch from last year with the Lady Jaguars of Carrboro High.
Reach Sports Editor Daron Barefoot at email@example.com.