Clarion River Valley Strikers U10 Green Team Wins Nail Biter In Mercer (10/20/15)
(By Matt Lerch)
The Clarion River Valley Strikers U-10 Green team traveled to Mercer on a chilly Sunday afternoon October 18th. With off and on sleet squalls, this young under 10 soccer team had something to prove after losing a close game last week. The fall 2015 season has been a tremendous developmental year for this team as several new players and U10 veterans fill out the roster.
The first half began with Ashton McKinlay anchoring the midfielder position with Blaise Cunningham and Logan Bish playing forward positions in the 2-1-2 formation against Mercer. New players Alexandria (Alex) Leadbetter and Mason Gourley have proven to be some of the best defenders in the league with Leadbetter playing right fullback and Gourley at left fullback. Forward Cunningham swept down the left sideline for the first shot on goal only to be stopped by the Mercer goalie. On a breakaway chance the ball was advanced by a goal kick by Gourley squirting through midfield to Cunningham and MacKinlay only for the two Strikers to be called offsides. Clarion goaltender Taylor Alston was forced to save 6 shots on goal as Mercer’s forwards applied ample pressure against the staunch Clarion defense. Isaac Lerch and Jason Megnin substituted in for Cunningham and Bish in the middle of the period. As the period came to a close the 0-0 score reflected more than 6 shots on goal for each team but that the game was up for grabs to those that wanted the win the most.
Adjustment in goalkeeping duties found Megnin in goal and Alston playing forward. As Alston worked diligently with Cunningham and Mackinlay on several scoring attempts, every shot was stopped by the goalie. Alston then had an opportunity as she delivered a corner kick back to defender Gourley who shot on goal and missed wide. Alston then took matters into her own hands and scored on an unassisted down field rush to make the score 1-0. Goalkeeper Megnin faced a flurry of activity as 4 Mercer players rushed the goal only to have Megnin make a diving save to keep the game a shutout. Knowing that time was running out, Manager Heather Bish altered the team again by placing Cunningham in goal. Protecting the lead by keeping the ball in the Mercer end Leadbetter shot on goal and with an offsides called, the ball came back for no goal. Bish had another shot on goal and missed wide after the Mercer goalie was caught out of position.
The whistle blew and the U10 Green Team evened out their season to 3 wins and 3 losses. Players Gia and Sophie Babington were unable to play today. U10 Green team Coaches Maddie Meyers and Steph Lias, both Clarion University Women’s Soccer players were at a University game today but will be back for next week’s doubleheader at home, the Clarion County Park.
(Thanks to Matt Lerch for this article and photo. Way to go Strikers!!!!)