Clarke shuts out Rams

STRASBURG – You know it is probably not your night when one of your own players scores a goal for the opposition. But that’s what happened Tuesday night when Clarke County took a hard-fought 2-0 victory over homestanding Strasburg in boys soccer.

The victory for the Eagles improves their record to 5-4-1 overall, 5-2-1 in the Bull Run District and 3-3-1 in Conference 35 action. The visitors had not won a match since a 2-1 victory over Madison County on May 5.

Just four days before, the Eagles had whipped the Rams 1-0 at home. Thus this 2-point win represented a sweep for the Clarke County team over its rival Strasburg.

Henry Leta opened scoring for the Eagles in the eighth minute when he booted in a 25-foot goal for a 1-0 lead. Then at the 18-minute mark a Ram knocked in what amounted to an Eagle goal for the 2-0 first-half advantage.

Strasburg has been used to close games. Aside from a 10-0 loss to conference power George Mason on April 5, each lost match has been decided by one goal. You could argue the string remained intact at Glen Proctor Field at Rams’ Stadium.

“We’ve had four losses by one point – except against George Mason. I think we match up favorably with Central, William Monroe, Clarke and Warren County (of the Bull Run District),” said Strasburg coach Joel Ross. “It’s the others we’ve got to do something about.”

“This was a key game for us,” said Clarke Coach Scott House. “It was a district and conference game and you’ve got to take care of those. Strasburg is a good team with an ability to score. They have speed on the wings and can cause problems. We’ll take this one and move on.”

Perhaps the key play of the match came in the 19th minute. A Clarke player fouled Alex Miranda and Miranda was awarded a penalty kick. With only goalie Seth Mayo to beat, Mirando tried to slam the ball right at him. Mayo, a junior, made the stop. It took away some of the Rams’ momentum.

“That penalty kick could have turned the game. (Miranda) put it too close to (Mayo). It was a little too central in there, but still a good shot,” said Ross

Strasburg would go on to score what it thought was a goal but was called for offsides in the 71st minute.

Clarke keeper Mayo made eight saves on Strasburg, which made 12 attempts at goal. Alex Miranda offered up four shots to lead the Rams.

Meanwhile Wolford of Strasburg stopped nine shots. The Eagles attempted eight shots at goal.