Contributed by James Alverson, Assistant Commissioner – Media Relations, Special Events & Publications
RALEIGH, NC – In the school’s first State Championship appearance in Men’s Soccer, the Clinton Dark Horses looked smooth and calm, despite falling behind in the second half against the defending 2A State Champions from Newton-Conover.
Clinton had the better of the possession in the first half, and had the first real scoring opportunity of the day when Jared Aguilar got in on the keeper one-on-one, but it was parried away in the 20th minute. Aguilar again got loose behind the Red Devil’s defense two minutes later, earning a corner kick which was headed just wide of the target.
After a scoreless first half, it was Newton-Conover that got on the board first. Dribbling along well outside the box on the left side, Jason Agreda stunned everyone when he turned loose a shot that skimmed low along the ground, finding the right side of the net in the 43rd minute to give the Red Devils a 1-0 lead.
After springing Aguilar on the first two Clinton opportunities and seeing his team fall behind, Parker Norris went to work for the Dark Horses. Clinton played a ball into the right side of the box and Peter Darden chipped it over the keeper, clanging it off the bar where it fell to the waiting Norris who pounded it into the net to tie the score at 1 with 22:58 to go.
Just over five minutes later, the Dark Horses earned a corner kick, one of their eight in the match, and Reid Taylor bent an out-swinging ball right onto the waiting right foot of Norris who promptly deposited it into the bottom right corner of the net through traffic to lift Clinton to a 2-1 lead in the 63rd minute. Norris was named the game’s MVP with the two goals.
Newton-Conover finished the season at 22-4-1, they were 12-1-1 in the South Fork 2A where they were the conference champions. The Red Devils appeared in the State Championship for the fourth time in school history and the second consecutive year.
Clinton wrapped up their campaign at 26-1-0 on the year, 11-1 in the East Central 2A where they were the Champions. The Dark Horses advanced to the State Championship for the first time with a 0-0 (4-2 PK) decision over the defending 2A Eastern Regional Champions from First Flight. Clinton won the school’s first men’s soccer State Championship.
2018 NCHSAA 2A Men’s Soccer Championship
Dail Soccer Field – NC State University – Raleigh, NC
Saturday, November 17, 2018
Clinton vs. Newton-Conover
NC – Jason Agreda Goal Unassisted
2 – 58′
CLIN – Parker Norris goal, assisted by Peter Darden
2 – 67′
CLIN – Parker Norris goal, assisted by Reid Taylor (CK)