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Clinton soccer stuns Karns in double OT

Karns came into the game one of the top teams in the district.

The Dragons were down a little, having lost two overtime games last week, including one in a penalty kick shootout. Clinton was also missing two starters and a key reserve player due to injury.

The Beavers took a 1-0 lead midway through the first half.

From there, the game was back and forth, as both teams had multiple chances to score in regulation.

The Dragons thought they had tied it when Edwin Rivera scored after the Dragon midfield slotted him a ball after some nice combination play, but the junior was flagged for being offsides.

Late in the game, Karns almost iced the game when they got a breakaway against Clinton goalkeeper Nick Meadows. The Dragon senior deflected the shot away on an acrobatic save to keep the score at 1-0.

With two minutes to play, Clinton nearly tied it when Dylan Williams flicked a Matt Tolson corner kick in front of the net in the path of several Dragon attackers. This time, the Karns goalkeeper was the hero, knocking the ball away at the last moment.

Left for dead, the Dragons needed a miracle. And they got one. With less than 10 seconds to play, Dylan Williams served a perfect ball to Edwin Rivera who was running on goal. Rivera took a touch and drove home the game-tying goal as time expired.

In overtime, Clinton pressed and it paid off.

The Dragons earned multiple cornerkicks and nearly scored when senior Tyler Csurny headed one just over.

In the second overtime, with less than five minutes to play, the Dragons got the magic they needed. Center defender and senior Russell Winchester finished a Tolson cornerkick to win the game. It was the team captain's first career goal and it was career-defining as the Dragons stormed the field.

“Wow... that was just an amazing win. The kids found a way to win. There was literally no time left on the clock when Edwin scored to send it into overtime,” said Filip Leander, head coach of the Dragons.

“Russell [Winchester] really deserves this memory, this moment. He came into the program as a freshman having never played soccer and just worked his way up the ladder. He is such a key part of our team, and as a defender, he rarely gets the recognition he deserves. Tonight, Russell gets that recognition,” he said.

“Nick Meadows played a great game in goal. Nick has been so patient this year with playing time. He is just a great kid and his play in net was just as crucial as anything we did on offense,” said Leander.

On Saturday evening, Clinton beat Temple Baptist 4-0 on Senior Night.

Stats were not available at press time.

Clinton now officially has a record of 8-4-2.

They will host Anderson County at 4 p.m. on Wednesday for the regular season finale in a huge district match for both schools.