High school girls soccer: Clearfield gets revenge over Box Elder, 2-1, to lead four-team Region 5 race
The Falcons are the second 5A team this season to hit 10 wins
Clearfield’s small bunch of a student section could be heard after game chanting, “Kelly! Kelly! Kelly!”
In Falcons head coach Kelly Parke’s first year with the program, Clearfield girls soccer is staying alive and at the front of a crowded title race for Region 5. The Falcons further progressed towards that goal as they earned a revenge win over Box Elder at home, 2-1, to keep themselves at least in a tie for first place in region standings. Clearfield’s record now stands at 10-3 with a 9-2 record in region play.
With Region 5 having four teams within a game of each other for first place, Clearfield’s Tuesday loss to rival Northridge was a sobering moment for the squad that up until then had been enjoying a run of success not often seen in Clearfield athletics. Parke sat the team down after the loss and called it the start of “our new season,” he said. “We just reset and resolved to go forward and win every game from here on out.”
The meaning of Clearfield’s success has reached Parke’s ears through many ways. “I have never heard from so many parents, never heard from so many people involved at the school, referees even that used to go here,” he said. “I think it means a lot to this community to win some games be competitive.”
The Falcons relentlessly attacked the Bees on offense, collecting an impressive 17 total shots with nine on target. Box Elder senior goalkeeper Ava Mason was active in the net with six saves and a couple more timely blocks.
Inside the 10-minute mark, Clearfield did what it has done multiple times this season and turned the game around in clutch time as the Falcons scored both of their goals within a three-minute span, the second of which came with just five minutes to go.
Clearfield spent much of the first half attacking solely through the left side with setups by Jentrie Porter, who was uncovered at most times as the Bees’ defenders sat back to fend off senior forward Cassidy Andrews.
Throughout the game, the Falcons controlled time of possession by a wide margin. Box Elder managed just five shots the whole game and struggled to get past Clearfield’s freshman center backs, whom Parke has credited in the past, saying they “play like seniors.”
It was a long initial game of an unstoppable force against an immovable object as the first half went scoreless despite Clearfield playing most of the half deep in Box Elder territory.
Clearfield nearly broke the draw in the first half with just over two minutes when senior Erin Cate got open for a pass from Andrews and fired true, but Moser stretched just far enough to get a hand on it for a block.
Right out of the halftime break is when the Falcons turned the aggression up a notch, no longer waiting around to get shots off.
Andrews came very close to scoring within the first 30 seconds of the second half on a solid assist inside the goal box only for Moser to once come up with a clutch block at point blank range, sending the ball sailing over the goal.
The Falcons launched four shots on goal in the first four minutes of the half, only for Moser to come up with three saves and a block.
Finally, the tie broke when Box Elder freshman forward Hallie Wright burst through Clearfield’s defense on a rare transition opportunity and beat the goalie, effortlessly nudging in the ball for a 1-0 Bees lead with 29 minutes remaining.
Clearfield continued to control possession. Needing anything to stay alive, the Falcons finally broke through when freshman forward Tatum Thomas called her own number with 8:27 remaining and fired a long-range shot just over Moser’s head for the score.
“Once we got that one, we stayed with it and put as much pressure on top as we could,” Parke said.
With exactly five minutes to go, Clearfield took control with a breakaway opportunity on an assist to Andrews from Cate. Andrews easily buried the goal to give the Falcons a 2-1 lead.
Box Elder was forced to counterattack in the final minutes to no avail, and the Bees fell to 8-5. They are currently at least in third in region standings.
Clearfield became just the second team in 5A to hit 10 overall wins.
The quest for a region title at this point is a short yet tough road for Clearfield. The Falcons have two road games, the second of which is against Bountiful, the other first-place team, before closing out the regular season against Bonneville. They’ll face Roy on the road next Tuesday.
Box Elder returns home to host Northridge on Tuesday.