Adding another well-earned win to an undefeated conference season for women’s soccer, Clinton defeated East Bladen’s Lady Eagles 9-0 Tuesday.
Defense on the side of the Lady Eagles proved solid during the first half, bordering on impenetrable. Keeping the ball on the visiting side with cohesive protectors, the Lady Eagles fended off Clinton’s attackers until Lady Dark Horse Reagan Barefoot, assisted by Katie Yang, broke through with a goal at 15:29. Not even 30 seconds later, Yang came through with a deft second goal at 15:57, with teammate Taylor Spell on assist. And, echoing an already stellar season for the home team, the tone was set.
Although a team of both sword and shield, Clinton’s adept offensive line shone whenever they nimbly pressed into the treacherous waters of the visitor’s penalty box. Despite East Bladen’s strong defense, they couldn’t hold back the Lady Dark Horses. Barefoot, Spell, and Halla Gilpin drove a steady, widening lead that closed the first half at 5-0.
Clinton’s strategy continued into the second half, chipping away at the Lady Eagles. Two goals by Ashlyn Williams and Elizabeth Coleman in the last three minutes of the game capped the night’s final score at 9-0.
Coach Jeff Smith noted East Bladen’s defense following the game. “They kept everybody back,” he pointed out, “but our girls figured a way through it. They did good. You just gotta keep going forward — that’s all you gotta do.”
The loss drops East Bladen’s overall record to 8-4 and their Four County Conference score to 4-4. Pender’s Lady Patriots visit the Lady Eagles in Elizabethtown Thursday evening for a conference rematch.
Clinton’s win boosts their standing in more ways than one. Now with an overall record of 12-1-1 and an undefeated conference record of 8-0, the Lady Dark Horses also bolster their rank as the 12th 2A women’s soccer team in the state. They were to travel to Dunn Wednesday for a conference rematch against Midway’s Lady Raiders.
Reach Sports Editor Daron Barefoot at email@example.com.