The men’s soccer team for the Clinton Dark Horses lost an important conference game Monday against East Duplin. It was a battle all night, but Panthers ultimately came out on top in extra time, 2-1.
The Horses, rallying off their impressive win last week during the shootout over Wallace-Rose Hill, came into this game fired up and with emotions high. That emotion set the tone early as they struck first within the first few minutes of the game to take a 1-0 lead. Peter Darden provided that score and spark for Clinton on an assist from Reid Taylor.
“It was really impressive how we got that first goal early in the game,” said Clinton coach Brad Spell. “I was hoping that the early goal would give us command and maybe we’d be able to take control of the game.”
This wouldn’t be the case as the Panthers shook that goal off with ease controlling the flow of the rest of the first half with amazing ball movement that allowed them to take multiple shots on Clinton though most were defended. The Panthers would eventually net themselves a first half goal of their own to tie the match up,1-1.
After that Panthers goal, both teams held defensively and neither team scored again in regulation.
“I was really impressed with how East Duplin answered back after we scored that first goal. They moved the ball on us really well in the first half and got back into the ball game,” said Spell.
The Horses played much better in the second half, however neither team saw any goals the entire second half to force extra time. With the crowd roaring the whole time, East Duplin would find its second goal of the night in the first half of the overtime session, putting them ahead of the Horses 2-1 and giving them their first lead of the night.
The Horses had a few good chances on goal, but couldn’t finish on any of them.
“I’m really proud of our guys tonight. They played hard and fought tooth and nail until the end. Nothing left to do now but recompose ourselves, shake it off and be ready to go again as we have our rematch against James Kenan coming up next,” Spell concluded.
James Kenan is the only other conference team to beat the Horses this season, winning their first faceoff against Clinton 5-0. The Horses are 11-4 overall and 4-2 in conference play. going into Wednesday’s rematch with the Tigers.
Reach Michael Hardison at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.