The Clinton Dark Horse men’s soccer team split outcomes in the Battle at the Beach on Friday, losing the first game to Dixon 2-1 before bouncing back and shutting out Croatan 5-0 in the second game.
“We ended up going 1-1, we lost the first game to Dixon then ended up beating Croatan 5-0 putting us at 2-1 on the year,” said coach Brad Spell. “Let me tell you one thing though — that had to be the hottest soccer match I’ve ever been through in all my years of coaching, so I can’t image how it was for the players.”
Though the Horses played Dixon really close, they had chances to win but corner kicks and getting outplayed physically led to the defeat.
“Dixon is a quality team, but in terms of possession I’d say it was 50/50 the entire time. We ended up getting behind 2-0 due to corner kicks and we got bullied a lot as well. I’m not disappointed with the loss, but we’ve got to be tougher in future games so we don’t lose to teams that play more physical than us,” said Spell.
Clinton’s one goal in their loss to Dixon came from Axel Ramirez, who was assisted by Reid Taylor.
The Horses definitely didn’t get bullied by Croatan as they dominated them, playing much more aggressive and setting the tone of the game early.
“The first 15 minutes against Croatan we played much better and came out playing much more physical. Once we started settling down, we only got better as the game went on, which gave us a 2-0 lead at halftime,” remarked Spell.
The goals for the Horse came from Ivan Ponce, who netted three for the hat trick, and Sammy Sutter and Taylor, who each had a goal apiece. Assists for the goals came from Sam Holloman, Ponce, Taylor and Logan Spell.
“We played really well in the game against Croatan and I have to say the play of the night was from Ivan Ponce having the hat trick,” said Spell.
The Horses are 2-1 this season and looked to improve their home record as the JV and varsity teams were set to take on Whiteville Monday.
Reach Sports Editor Michael Hardison at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.