Sometimes coaches are more pleased with a loss than a win, and that’s exactly what Clinton soccer coach Brad Spell was Monday night after his team lost 2-1 to 4A New Hanover.
Despite the loss, Spell said he was extremely pleased with the way his team played — hungry and focused, the two things he believes they need to build on as they move toward conference play beginning in early September.
“I was very pleased with their effort tonight,” Spell said of the Dark Horses. “We were real hungry and we played that way all night long. New Hanover is a tough team and they played hard; we responded well to them.”
Clinton actually had a 1-0 lead going into the half, but New Hanover would not be denied a home victory, scoring a couple of goals in a seven to eight minute period in the last 20 minutes of play.
“We actually had a chance to tie it up, but we couldn’t capitalize,” Spell said.
But, the Horses, he said, came to play. “They really clicked tonight, and I can see them starting to turn it around. Sometimes you are more pleased with a loss than a win, and tonight (Monday) was one of those times.”
Spell said playing a tough 4A team like New Hanover — and competing well against them — was preparing the Horses for conference play, which begins Sept. 10.
“We are facing some tough, hard-nosed teams, and that’s good for us. It gets us prepared. That’s how it felt against New Hanover; it was a good competition.”
Clinton’s Ryan Taylor scored the Horses goal Monday.
The Horses move to 2-2 overall. They play again Friday night versus White Oak in the Battle at the Beach. Spell called the 3A team a tough opponent and yet another good team to help prepare his team for what’s in store down the road.
“It’ll be a good test of our skills,” Spell said, “and it will help us get stronger and better as a team.”