Your Prep Sports
TIFFIN – The first potential game-winning shot by Clear Creek Amana freshman Ellen Austin on Friday was deflected away.
Considering how hard it has been for Austin and her Clear Creek Amana teammates to score goals this season that seems almost fitting.
What was even more fitting according to Clear Creek Amana coach Matt Harding was the perseverance the Clippers displayed.
Austin scored the game-winning goal nearly two minutes into the second overtime as Clear Creek Amana snapped a five-match losing skid with a 1-0 win over Williamsburg (2-5) at wind-swept Clipper Stadium.
“That is what has been so rewarding is their attitudes have just been amazing,” Harding said. “We had a stretch where the games went about as bad as they could have from a result standpoint and their mentality has been amazing. They are so positive and they keep coming back and working hard.”
Clear Creek Amana showed their resolve on Friday.
The Clippers failed to capitalize on a pair of golden opportunities to take the lead late in the game.
Carsyn Gallagher couldn’t convert on a one-on-one opportunity with Williamsburg keeper Lydia Rethwisch in the 66th minute and had a shot from inside 10 yards sail wide three minutes into the first overtime.
Despite those missed opportunities the Clippers kept coming.
“I thought Williamsburg played really well in the second half and the first overtime and we stuck with it,” Harding said. “Going into the wind in that second overtime we knew it would be tough and we found a way to
finish one off.”Austin had a chance to end the game when she found some space down the left sideline just minutes into the second overtime.Her initial shot was deflected away by a Raider defender but Austin battled two Williamsbur
g players to win the ball back and snuck a low shot past a diving Rethwisch into the lower left corner for the game winner.
“It was really frantic,” Austin said. “The ball got deflected and then it was loose and I just fought for it and was able to get it and get another shot.”
The game-winning goal by Austin was the first of the season for the freshman and the first goal for the Clippers since an April 17 win over Benton Community and stopped a string of five matches without a score.
The fact that nothing about the game-winner came easy was fitting for Austin.
“It’s been kind of hard,” Austin said. “We have struggled scoring at times and it gets frustrating so this feels even better.
All five of the losses during the Clippers losing skid came to ranked teams with four coming to top-10 opponents.
Clear Creek Amana will attempt to win back-to-back games when it travels to Vinton-Shellsburg for a makeup match on Monday.
“We played really well against Marion on Tuesday and I thought we did some really good things at times tonight,” Harding said. “I’m glad we got the result tonight and I’m excited to see what we can do going forward.”