Clarion River Valley Strikers U12 Girls Win Season Finale Against Grove City (06/09/16)
(By Matt Lerch)
The Clarion River Valley Strikers U12 Girls squad finished the Spring 2016 season with a 6-1 win over Grove City. Under the guidance of first year coach and Clarion University student Kevin Griffin, this squad of girls found the right chemistry to another winning season finishing with a 6-2 record. The girls were second only to Kinzua this season and only lost by one point in both contests against the number one team in the league.
At the Clarion County Park, the Strikers organization’s home field, the scoring started early when midfielder Korrin Burns passed to Reagan Pack who kicked a dribbler to the right side for a score. Defender Riley Burford gained the zone on Grove City and took a shot just wide of the goal. Parker Boyden then received a crossing pass from Pack, took the shot and was stopped by the goalkeeper. Pack scored her second goal unassisted with a blistering shot from deep left field at an impossible angle. Center defender Anna Gribik, relentless in her pursuit found a weakness in Grove City’s midsection setting up Korrin Burns deep for the third Striker goal. Grove City then found a way around the Striker defense for a score against keeper Evelyn Lerch. Lerch stopped 8 shots on goal in the first half.
At the beginning of the second half, Shawna Pack took over goal tending duties and performed in normal spectacular fashion. Lerch had two solo rushes weaving through the defense only to be stopped by their goalie both times. Lerch passed to Emily Alston across the crease but with no success. Then Burns found Alston open wide with the ball deep in Striker territory. Alston had two defenders to beat, turned on the afterburners and shot on goal for the fourth goal of the day. Coach Griffin emphasized passing and drop passing all season. The next play was drawn right out of Griffin’s playbook with Boyden passing to Pack who found Lerch open. Lerch penetrated the defense, took the shot and with an advantageous rebound off the goalie Liv Weckerly scored the fifth goal. Riley Burford then threw in the ball from out of bounds to Lerch who sent the ball airmail for the final Striker score of the game. Shawna Pack made 9 saves against Grove City.
The Striker season was once again successful, as most of these girls have played together for 8 seasons in the highly competitive PA West Soccer League spanning from Erie to Warren to Mercer and Oil City. With past coaches Laura Domena, Perry Boyden and now Kevin Griffin, this collection of girls has the solid foundation to carry forward into junior high school and beyond. The Strikers will resume play this fall after the Clarion County YMCA recreation soccer league finishes this summer.
(Thanks to Matt Lerch for this article and photo. GREAT SEASON, STRIKERS!!!!)