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High School Soccer:
Clayton Remains Undefeated With Win Over Highland

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

By Vincent Lewis
SJSports Staff Writer

In an interdivision boy's soccer game, Clayton would travel to their unlikely opponent of Highland. This was an opportunity for these two teams to meet with the Tartans moving to the Tri-County Conference with this year's realignment. The Clippers from Clayton, in this game, was the team putting the pressure on the defense giving them good scoring chances in the first half. Kevin McDonald's second half goal proved to be the winning goal that pushed Clayton (2-0-1) past Highland by a 2-1 margin.

Early in the season, it's hard to judge how good a team is supposed to be with only a few games being played. It's up to the coaching staff and captains to prepare their team to play every game at their highest potential. Whichever team is lacking that presence on the field, you can just throw out all of the preseason predictions about a team out of your mind.

John Verrecchino was a man on a mission with his hard and aggressive play in the first half. Verrecchino and the rest of the Clippers pushed their way down field getting good looks at the goal. Verrecchino first attempt in close went wide right, but he made good on his second attempt putting the ball in the back of the net to jump out to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. Clayton definitely had the edge in the first half. Highland would get their chances, but those shots on goal were easy enough for goaltender Steve Ferguson to handle.

As the second half begin, Clayton was determined to keep their intensity up and they did. McDonald pushed not only Clayton's play up, but also give them a two goal lead when he worked his way down the right sideline. McDonald never gave up on the play as he got pass his defender just enough line a shot about 15-yards out from the right side which hit the upper left post and into the net. Highland would get a goal from Joe Collen, but Clayton would hold off the Tartans to post their second win of the season.

Photos by Art Redd

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