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WESTMINSTER — It’s hard to win a game when you don’t have possession of the ball. It’s even harder when the opposition does, especially on your side of the field, for most of …
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WESTMINSTER — It’s hard to win a game when you don’t have possession of the ball. It’s even harder when the opposition does, especially on your side of the field, for most of the game.
That’s the hard lesson that Clear Creek’s girls soccer team found out April 8 at The Academy.
The host Wildcats scored four goals in the game’s first 21 minutes — two from sophomore midfielder Megan White — and The Academy turned what looked like a close game on paper going into it into a one-sided affair with a 6-1 victory.
Haley Chartier added two first-half goals, while Vanessa Norton and Alex Garcia also scored for the Lady Wildcats.
Clear Creek (3-5) entered the contest just two and half games back of The Academy (7-2), but the differences between the teams were much larger than that. The Lady Wildcats had seven shots on goal in the first 40 minutes, scoring on six of them.
It wasn’t all bad for the Lady Diggers. When they were able to push the ball downfield they made they most of those opportunities. Rachelle Talbot scored on Clear Creek’s only shot on goal in the first half from the left wing, cutting their deficit to 6-1.
That goal and his injury-plagued team’s effort over the final 45 minutes, when it kept The Academy off the scoreboard, is what Clear Creek head coach Ben Potter will take out of this game.
“Regardless that they put up six goals we got one in the last couple of minutes of the first half and then held them 0-0. As far as I’m concerned we won the last 45 minutes of that game,” Potter said.
“Our defense was outstanding, shutting down shots in the second half, getting in front of everything. We started marking up tight, running through the ball. Despite losing 6-1 this was a tremendous team effort.”
It was made even more so when midfielder Kelsey Valdez moved to goalie for the game’s final 40 minutes. She, despite her relative inexperience back there, kept The Academy from adding to its lead.
“It was cool. I’ve never really played goalie, so it was kind of nerve-racking,” she said. “The defense did an awesome job shutting down shots and really helping me out.”
Valdez’s play was a bright spot. With Jazzy Barrows sidelined — Clear Creek’s No. 1 goalie was injured nearly a month ago with a right knee injury that will keep her out at least two more weeks if not the remainder of the season — and Sammy Dash still growing at the position, Potter may have found his starting keeper for the rest of the season.
So, even in defeat, Clear Creek may have found a winner for the rest of this season.
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