Clinton turns back WC squads
Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 24, 2002
[01/23/02]Hayley Martin gave Warren Central a chance, but Clinton pulled it out in overtime, 3-2, to end the Lady Vikes’ playoff hopes.
Playing on a slick, mushy field in rain that ranged from a drizzle to a downpour, Martin scored her second goal of the second half on a penalty kick during injury time to tie it, 2-2.
But Clinton’s Kristin Meeks lofted the winning shot out of reach of goalkeeper Courtney Hubert midway through the first overtime to give the Lady Arrows (15-4) the division championship.
Vicksburg High was second to earn the other playoff spot. The Missy Gators will go to Oak Grove for the first round, which starts Tuesday.
The Lady Vikes (9-7-2), who lost 2-1 in the final minutes to VHS Thursday, could have caused a three-way tie or made the playoffs and eliminated the Missy Gators with a two-goal win over Clinton.
“We showed a lot of teams that they couldn’t just walk over us,” WC coach Holly Lane said. “It’s too bad our district is so tough.”
It appeared that Megan Carlisle put WC on the board first, when she went far post early in the first half. The ball bounced off the post and appeared to roll into the goal, but it was waved off.
“If we had that goal, it never would have gone to overtime,” Lane said.
Early in the second half, with WC trailing 1-0, Carlisle appeared to be tripped in the box, but no penalty kick was awarded.
There was less contact when Clinton was called for the late penalty.
“That made up for the first goal,” Lane said.
“There were some other things that could have been called. It was good it finally got called.”
Clinton got the first goal on a 35-yard fluke by Mary Bobo when her indirect kick rolled in from 35 yards out.
“We had some miscommunication on defense,” Lane said.
After Martin’s first goal, which came from just inside the box with 27 minutes, 20 seconds left in the second half, Meeks put Clinton ahead, 2-1, on a feed from Bobo.
Both teams had 10 shots on goal. Hubert had six saves.
“Everyone had written us off,” Lane said. “We don’t have anything to be ashamed of.”
(B) Clinton 3, WC 1
After going scoreless three-fourths of the game, the teams got three goals in an eight-minute span and Clinton won the division title.
The Vikings (9-9) finished second and will travel to Petal or Oak Grove, whichever wins its division, for the first round of the playoffs. The Arrows (12-7-1) will host the runner-up. Last night’s Oak Grove-Petal matchup was rained out. No makeup date has been set.
“We played to counter-attack,” WC coach Jay Harrison said. “We were trying to defend first, attack second; it worked for a while.”
Michael Brown scored first for Clinton on a second-chance shot with 21:08 left.
That was after Luke Sellers made several tough saves.
Paul Richards tied it three minutes later with an off-balance header from about 20 yards out that went in the top of the goal.
But, four minutes after that, Kyle Howe put it away with another close-in shot.
“They were faster and more physical,” Harrison said. “There were a couple of things that didn’t go our way.”
Sellers had to leave the game after getting kicked in the head making a save with 6:30 left. Trey Banks replaced him.
Harrison said Sellers would be back for Thursday’s game against Madison Central.
Clinton outshot WC, 15-6. Sellers made nine saves.
There weren’t any surprises at WC for Clinton coach Jeff Long, who coached WC’s girls before going to Clinton three years ago. This is his second straight division title.
“I told them that any time you come to Viking Field, it’s going to be a battle,” said Long, who was missing two starters. “The weather slowed us down a little. We’re finesse team. We stress the short pass.”
Long said he wouldn’t be surprised to see WC again this season.
“They’ve got a lot of fight in them,” he said. “Maybe we’ll see them in the South finals.”