The Lady Dark Horses soccer team has the chance to make school history after besting Currituck County at home, 2-1, Wednesday in the 2A women’s tournament to advance to the fourth round. No soccer team in school history, men or women, have advanced to the fifth round.
On paper, the No. 3 ranked Horses should’ve easily won this game, but the Lady Knights didn’t let being ranked No. 11 stop them from going toe-to-toe with the home team.
The first half was a complete stalemate with neither team scoring the entire period, though the opportunities were plentiful on both sides. Though the score sat at 0-0 by the end of the first 40 minutes, Clinton had chances after taking three shots on goal and three corner kicks. Currituck had just as many missed chances with five shot on goal taken in the first.
From the opening seconds of the second frame, the Horses came alive. Taking only a few seconds, Clinton’s Kayla Yang put in the first goal of the match at 40:29 giving them the 1-0 lead. The Knights didn’t take that laying down and struck the net moments later.
With 51:46 showing on the clock, Currituck found some room around the Horses goal and tied the game at 1-1 with plenty of time left to play. Then the game flowed by slowly until the final five minutes of regulation when the Knights had a huge chance to take the lead. Following a questionable foul call near the Horses goal that resulted in a yellow card given to Elizabeth Coleman, Currituck had a free kick to capitalize on.
Fortune was on Clinton’s side and senior goalkeeper Edye Carr came up with the biggest save of the season to keep the game tied at 1-1. That save spurred them forward. Moments later, with 77:27 showing, Yang connected with the back of the net for the second time giving them the go-ahead score and the 2-1 lead. From there, the Horses played lockdown defense. While the Knights got off one final shot before the clock ran out, Carr saved it once more to end the game.
Yang had a big day with both of Clinton’s goals. Taylor Spell and Bailey Spell had the two assists. Carr also had a huge game with four key saves.
“We are very proud of our girls they fought hard today,” said assistant coach Lindsey Bass. “We played much better in the second half and we’re excited to have an opportunity to do something no other soccer team in school history has before.”
With the win, Clinton sits at 19-5 on the season. They advance to the fourth round of the 2A state playoffs having a long way to travel. They’ll be the visiting opponents to the No. 2-seed First Flight Nighthawks at 3 p.m. Saturday. The match will be at First Flight in Kill Devil Hills, some 200 miles away in the Outer Banks.
Reach Michael Hardison at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.