Clarion River Valley Strikers U12 Green Team Chalk Up Two Consecutive Shutouts (10/15/16)
(By Matt Lerch)
The Clarion River Valley Strikers U12 Green Team, under the superb coaching of Clarion University student Kevin Griffin, added two more shutouts to the season as the team won against Oil Region Leccia October 2 and Grove City GU13 on October 9th. Both wins were on home turf at the Clarion County Park in Shippenville.
On October 2nd the Strikers won against Oil Region Leccia 11-0 in a dominating performance. Drew Slaugenhaupt displayed an act of brilliance by cobbling together 4 goals on the day. Gia Babington added two goals in the second half to help the Stikers’ cause. Emma Goughler, Colson Ritzert and Lexi Coull, all offensive players scored one each on the afternoon. Defenders Blaise Cunningham and Taylor Alston also scored a goal in the second half.
Defense was needed during the game even though the Clarion offense was able to score at will. Taylor Alston stuffed numerous advances by Oil Region Midfielders. Center defender Anna Gribik was able to help net minder Isaac Lerch preserve the shutout saving him from speedy forwards all day. Lerch saved 6 shots on goal against Oil Region Leccia.
October 9th saw a formidable opponent visit Clarion County Park, the much improved Grove City GU13 Team. Coach Kevin Griffin knew the game would be aggressively played and the strategy would have to be carefully deployed. The shutout began with midfielder Karlie Clark passing to Drew Slaugenhaupt upfield who then found Striker Colson Ritzert. Ritzert shot left on the goalie after coming up the right side making it impossible for her to reach nailing the inside post for a 1-0 lead. After Grove City fouled Slaugenhaupt inside the box, Ritzert took the penalty kick only to have the rocket ricochet off of the top cross bar for a missed opportunity before the end of the half. Blaise Cunningham took over goaltender duties for Isaac Lerch due to his illness. Cunningham seamlessly continued goaltending duties with 4 saves in the first half. The rock solid defense of Anna Gribik, Taylor Alston and Francis Kassibama kept Grove City out of many scoring opportunities. Mariah Beary worked the sidelines keeping the ball in the midfield giving feeds to the forwards.
The second half saw a few adjustments by Coach Griffin, switching Kassibama up front with the Ritzert and Slaugenhaupt. Kassibama found Gia Babington who shot on goal with a stop by the superb Grove City netminder. Babington crossed a wide ball to Lexi Coull who found the back of the net for a 2-0 score. Slaugenhaupt found room and was able to split the defense on a breakaway only to be denied by the goalie. Kassibama then found a breaking Aaron Bashline who shot hard on the goal and defeated the nimble goaltender for the final score, 3-0. Alex Leadbetter helped to shore up the staunch Clarion defense and kept Cunningham out of trouble during much of the game. The Clarion U12 Green Team hosts their last home game of the season tomorrow (Sunday, October 16th) against the Mercer Rangers for a classic dual of 4-1 teams.
(Thanks to Matt Lerch for this article and photos. Good Going, Strikers!!!!)