Two late goals propelled Clayton’s girls soccer team to a 3-1 victory in the championship game of the Four Oaks Banks Women’s Cup on Wednesday night.
The Comets (3-0) were up 1-0 by virtue of an early own goal against Corinth Holders in the first 10 minutes of the game. Neither team could muster another point as the second half wound past the midway point.
With 16:50 left in the game, Lauren Daniels took a through pass from Holland Mills and beat the goalie for a 2-0 Clayton lead.
“It was actually my third chance against the keeper so I guess the third time’s the charm,” said Daniels, who was named the tournament’s offensive MVP. “I finally just got one in.”
With three minutes left, Mills scored from the left side on an assist from Kaylee Wilson to make it 3-0.
Corinth Holders (1-1) scored with a minute left in the game on Lexie Chase’s goal. Erica Boswell assisted on the play.
“It was a great game with great teams,” Clayton coach Brian Stevens said. “Corinth Holders is so stacked with quality young players. They applied a lot of pressure but we were able to get it done in the offensive third. We played real strong defensively. We have a brand new back line. Last year we graduated all four of our backs so we had to redevelop our back line.
“I had some seniors step up. One went from striker to center back and one went from center mid to center back and they did what was best for the team. They were able to shut down Corinth Holders in the back and that makes it a really great win.”
Corinth Holders coach Alison Vetterl said that Clayton’s speed was a big factor in the game.
“They have a lot of speed up front and we had to contain that,” Vetterl said. “I think for the most part we did. We had to take some gambles and do some different things and they got it through. I am confident in what we have going on right now. I think we can compete with anybody when we put our minds to it. I’m excited for the season and what’s to come.”
Clayton’s Kendall Gillespi, a junior, was named the tournament’s defensive MVP.
They said it
“I am super pumped because of my four years here we haven’t won this,” Clayton’s Daniels said. “As a senior to win this and get the ball rolling is great for us. I think we have a lot of potential and I think we are going to be able to kick butt this year. I am excited about how it started and excited about the rest of the season.”
Daniels’ goal. The Comets were clinging to the one-goal lead but needing more to put away an aggressive Pirates squad and claim the title in the season-opening event.
The play worked to perfection, with Mills’ through ball finding open space and Daniels able to run it down and beat the goalie for a 2-0 lead.