Clearfield got the best of the Stansbury Stallions Friday in an overtime matchup 3-2.
Both schools started scoring right away as they went into the locker room for halftime tied at 2. Seniors Jara Eshete and Zack Sharp both scored goals for the Stallions.
After a scoreless second half, Clearfield’s Bruce Bitter knocked in the game winner in overtime. Head coach Brandon Anderson said normally preseason games don’t go into overtime and just end in a tie, but the referee asked the team captains beforehand if the teams wanted to keep playing if the game ended in a tie. Anderson said his players were excited to be out playing and absolutely wanted to play in overtime if it came down to it. So the referees decided to let the game go into overtime once the second half ended in a tie.
Stansbury opened the game with a 2-0 lead, starting with Sharp’s goal. Sharp had four shot attempts and finally got one to sink on a free kick. His first free kick just missed, as Anderson said everyone thought that first one would go in. There was no doubt on the second kick as he knocked in the free kick for an SHS 1-0 lead.
The second goal for Stansbury came on a bizarre defensive play. A Clearfield defender tried to clear a ball from their zone, but it ricocheted off a player and rolled backward about 30 yards. Eshete got a touch on it and put the ball into the back of the net to make the score 2-0.
“We were trying to pressure,” Anderson said. “We were constantly reminding the kids they need to pressure — get in their face and force them to make a mistake.”
That defensive pressure caused the ricochet on the clear attempt and gave Eshete the goal.
Anderson said there were defensive lapses the rest of the first half that allowed Clearfield to score two goals and even the score. Both teams turned up the defensive intensity in the second half to force overtime.
The Stallions had a chance to get the win in overtime on a free kick opportunity. The shot went wide, and then Clearfield capatilized on their chance and got the win.
Overall, Anderson said he was pleased with the game because this was the first time the Stallions had been outside.
“That game Friday, we hadn’t played on a pitch,” Anderson said. “I was more impressed with the kids that they hadn’t shot on a regular net and played well on a normal pitch. We’re excited to get to play on our normal field. The energy is there, and now we need to keep focus.”
The Stallions take on Ben Lomond at 3:30 p.m. in the first region game of the season. The Scots have played three games so far and were shut out in all of them.