A Suburban Conference Red Pool match between a pair of undefeated contenders went to penalty kicks Tuesday evening. Both teams coming off the CYC Tournament with the Greyhounds facing their 8th game in 10 days after capturing the Walsh Division title . Both missing key players, with Clayton’s central defender Rohan Tripathy and South’s scoring machine Kevin Ovalle both on the bench for the evening due to injury. Three weeks remain (Districts begin Monday October 29) games remaining are now in the single digits. Penalty Kicks Take Clayton Past Parkway South
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Clayton opened the scoring in the ninth minute on a stunning goal by Jr. Dillon Flynn who tracked Jr. Clark Boeger’s 50 yard ball, settling it with his first touch and his second pushing it past the keeper as he ran almost full stride into the box. A real treat as these teams wasted no time in attacking, showing no evidence of fatigue.
That didn’t last as the second half opened. A tactical adjustment by South moved them from a 4:4:2 to a 4:5:1 and that along with what I would call a let down in effort by Clayton put the Greyhounds under more pressure. They extended their lead with a 51st minute goal by Sr. James Dulle who hammered a 35 yard shot from the right side off the far upright, rebounding into the net but you know what they say about two goal leads, right?
Parkway got their first goal in the 58th minute when Jr. Luke Davis received a ball outside the box and hit a very nice shot just beyond the keeper’s reach. It was followed only four minutes later with Sr. Sam Costa, a CBC transfer, hit the best direct kick I’ve seen this season. 20 yards out, over the wall and curving away from the keeper into the top right corner.
The tactical change in the now tied game resulted in Clayton spending a lot of time defending for the remaining 18 minutes as the Parkway defense swept up any loose ball their midfield somehow missed. They hit the crossbar twice in that timeframe but couldn’t break down the defense for a winning goal. Two scoreless overtime periods that saw amazing effort that belied the earlier leaden legs shown in the second half ensured penalty kicks. Parkway South were undone when their first and fifth shooters put their efforts over the crossbar while Clayton finished the four attempts they needed.
Parkway South now hosts Parkway Central Thursday, the other contender for the Conference title although Parkway West could sneak in with Clayton on October 8th their most challenging Conference game remaining with a 4-1 record at the moment. Clayton faces that match as well as Parkway Central on October 19th as they squeeze in ten more games between now and Districts.
FAN RANKING C-
The Clayton fans temperatures went up as the pressure increased and what had been a smattering of calls disagreeing with the referee turned louder. I could also hear a couple of voices from the Parkway South fans despite being on the opposite side of the field. Kudo’s to Head Coach Tom Redmond for Clayton who set a solid example for Clayton bench, primarily sitting on the bench and not getting heated regarding any calls, only stepping up to offer occasional support and to emphasize some key elements such as work rate and team movement.