Clarion River Valley Strikers U12 Green Team Suffers First Defeat In Road Game (10/01/16)
(By Matt Lerch)
The 2-1 Clarion River Valley Strikers U12 Green Team suffered its first defeat of the season at the hands of Mercer on Mercer’s home fields at Cool Springs. The Strikers lost by a score of 7-2 against a more mature and physical team.
On a sunny early fall day, the Strikers took to the field attempting to increase their record to 3-0. With a full bench of Clarion Strikers, Coach Kevin Griffin devised the game plan for this particular team. The action began as Griffin’s defense saw a particularly tall and skilled player kick in the first of two Mercer goals from corner kicks into the the CRVS. An ensuing penalty kick by the tall Mercer forward sent the ball in for the third Mercer score.
The Strikers offense answered with midfielder Emma Goughler advancing the ball up field to forward Colson Ritzert who found the back of the net making the score 3-1. Yet another goal was scored with an arching rainbow kick by Mercer making the score 4-1 at the half.
Coach Kevin Griffin saw that his team still had promise against this formidable opponent. Making an adjustment by taking defender Francis Kassibama and switching with left wing Taylor Alston, the offense changed its dynamic. Both Alston and Kassibama went down temporarily with injuries only to rebound and contribute more to the game. Standout defender Anna Gribik was the anchor on defense as usual with her intrepid response to incoming scoring opportunities. Collision after collision Gribik stopped Mercer’s advancement.
But the long shots evaded Gribik, Blaise Cunningham and Alston with 2 more rainbow shots going over Lerch’s head into the goal for a 6-1 game.
Right wing Drew Slaugenhaupt crossed several perfect passes over the goalmouth with Gia Babington, Aaron Bashline, Karlie Clark and Mariah Beary missing the mark. Finally, one of Slaugenhaupt’s passes achieved success with a perfect feed to a crashing Ritzert who scored his second goal. Mercer wasn’t done though as another penalty kick was perfectly arched for the final score of 7-2.
Clarion goaltender Isaac Lerch recorded 9 saves on the day.
The Strikers played as well as they could have against a team that was well matched without the tall Mercer forward.
The Strikers’ U12 Green Team will start a 3 game home stand against Oil Region Leccia team this Sunday (October 2nd) at 1:00 PM at the Strikers’ home field, The Clarion County Park.
(Thanks to Matt Lerch for this article and photos.)