Coming off a double OT road game with Topsail Tuesday, Clinton’s Dark Horse soccer team didn’t quite have their legs underneath them Wednesday when they went head-to-head with rival East Duplin, and the Panthers took advantage, shutting out the home team 2-0.
“East Duplin came to win,” said Clinton coach Brad Spell. “They were the more aggressive team tonight (Wednesday).”
Spell said the Horses played a good game, but the Panthers were just quicker. “They beat us to the ball. I thought we played hard; the effort was there, but they were just a step quicker.”
Spell said back-to-back trips to Topsail, complete with the double OT, had taken its toll on the Horses, but he wasn’t offering that as any excuse for Wednesday’s loss.
“We were a step slower mentaly and physically, but we can’t make an excuse. East Duplin wanted this game, and they played a great game. They earned it.”
Now, Spell said, the Horses would take a breather Thursday and get right back to practice Friday in preparation for their final regular season game Monday against Northside.
“We can’t hang our heads. This hurts, but we’ve got to dust ourselves off and get right back out there and take care of business Monday,” the CHS coach stressed. “We’ve got to focus on Monday’s game and the playoffs.”
The loss to East Duplin drops Clinton to a half-game back from first place in the 2A conference.
They host Northside Monday on Senior Night for the Horses.
Clinton is now 13-5-2 overall and 8-1-2 in conference play.