CRVS Roundup (05/06/17)
(Articles and photos by Matt Lerch)
Clarion River Valley Strikers U14 win at Titusville
The Clarion River Valley Strikers U14 soccer team survived a surprisingly stronger Titusville team Sunday April 30 in Titusville. The sun was beating down and the humidity was unusually high but the Strikers prevailed 6-4 on a come from behind win.
Titusville came out swinging catching the Clarion defense off guard by scoring 2 unanswered goals. The Clarion scoring began when midfielder Austin Coull found Nate Megnin cruising upfield, Megnin passed to forward Evelyn Lerch who scored the first Striker goal. Lerch then found Coull who split the defense for the tying goal. Jordan Thompson entered the scoring fray by handling the ball by himself scoring unassisted to make the score 3-2 Clarion.
Goalie Tyler Bingham had 5 saves. The last Bingham save of the first half came when he was in a heap of trouble with no defensive support as 2 forwards split the Clarion defense stopping the booming kick. That save closed out the half.
The Clarion defense was holding tight with Owen Kerle, Wyatt Stimmel and Joseph Smith. Logan Leadbetter worked up through the midfield crossing to Coull who shot a rocket above the goalie for a 4-2 lead. But then the tide turned with 2 more quick Titusville goals. Liv Weckerly worked the side with Ryker Bingham keeping the game on balance. Leadbetter chalked up his second assist with a switch to Lerch who found the back of the net again, her second of the day. Koby Buzard kept the ball away from the skilled Titusville forwards playing superior midfield action. The insurance goal was added when Coull found Nate Megnin who shot left with a riser hitting the top left 90 for a 6-4 win. Goalie Bingham made 2 saves on the second half.
Coach Kevin Griffin was pleased with his team as they have a 3-0 start to the season. The team was caught off guard by this advancing team in District 7 and will note their increasing capability of scoring. Clarion travels to Grove City next Sunday to try to remain undefeated and at the top of PA West Soccer’s Lake Division.
Clarion River Valley Strikers U12 Hold On to Tie 4-4 against Grove City
The Clarion River Valley Strikers U12 soccer team arrived in Grove City Sunday April 30 on a sweltering sun soaked day. Coming off the home opener win, Clarion started the scoring when forward Colson Ritzert found Ashton MacKinley springing towards the net scoring Clarion’s first goal of the afternoon. Right wing Max Southworth took the duties of a corner kick perfectly placing the ball in the crease where Ritzert scored on a poke to the left corner for a 2-0 lead. Center defender Anna Gribik saw an open midfielder Gia Babington who advanced the ball upfield. The rare opportunity, especially against Grove City, of kicking the ball in open space to advancing forward Isaac Lerch by Babington came up fruitless with a great goalie stop. Taylor Alston was able to clear the ball to midfielder Jason Megnin who was stopped downfield by Grove City’s triangle defense.
Grove City’s defense committed an error when they shot into the middle of the field, only to be stolen by Southworth kicking top shelf for the third Clarion goal. Goalie Landon Smith made 6 saves on goal. Grove City closed the half with a score of their own but the fireworks on the field and the sky were about to begin.
The second half opened with ominous clouds and the rain began to intensify gradually. Lerch took goaltender duties and Smith came out to play defense. Defender Blaise Cunningham found Mariah Beary who was stopped short by Grove City’s defense. Alex Leadbetter and Anna Gribik stopped 2 more of Grove City’s advances. Lerch made a diving save as the ball trickled wide by the gloves of Lerch. Grove City then made 2 unanswered goals in a span of 4 minutes tying the game 3-3. As the ball skidded on the soaked field, Ritzert had had enough and marched in unassisted for the go ahead goal. The attempt was made for the insurance goal when Ritzert crossed a shoulder high pass into the center where Mackinley attempted the header but shot wide. The unthinkable happened when the Striker defense was clearing the ball, the ball skipped to a lurking Grove City forward who tied the game 4-4 with 5 seconds left. Then the whistle blew.
Despite the valiant effort by the U12 Striker team coming up empty handed for the win, they are still undefeated. Coaches Marina Kelly and Charlotte Allen were pleased by their team’s performance, especially with the difficult conditions. The Strikers host Mercer next Sunday at Clarion County Park.
(Thanks to Matt Lerch for the articles and photos.)