PUNXSUTAWNEY — Owen Clouse had a big day and the Redbank Valley Bulldogs soccer team needed just about all of it.
The Bulldogs’ sophomore striker scored all of his team’s goals in holding off host Punxsutawney for a 7-4 win Monday night.
All meaning seven, as in all the goals scored by Clouse. And it’s likely a school record although longtime program observers are working to confirm that one.
For sure, it’s the most goals Clouse has ever scored. It’s just his fourth season of soccer since starting his career in junior high.
“The whole team just played great,” said Clouse Tuesday afternoon. “I mean, we were passing well and playing as a team. The goals came to me.”
Almost as impressive was that he was assisted by four different players — Tyson Adams, Kierin Fricko and Caleb Root twice each, and Nick Moore once — on all of his goals.
He scored three goals in the first half as the Bulldogs clung to a 3-2 halftime lead, then scored three unanswered goals to put the Bulldogs up 6-2. His seventh gave the Bulldogs a 7-3 lead before the Chucks scored again to set the final.
Two of Clouse’s goals were off headers with the others to the speedy sophomore on thru-balls past the Chucks defense.
“It felt pretty good,” Clouse said. “That was a pretty good team and they lost a lot from last year, but we had to keep scoring. Our defense had to keep working and we kept working well as a team.”
Bulldogs head coach Ty Scott, whose team improved to 5-3 going into Wednesday’s game at Brockway, could only shake his head, admitting his player already has more goals in half a season than Scott’s Bulldogs varsity career.
“We played our game exactly how we have been practicing since conditioning and the team got the ball to Owen and he capitalized when he needed to,” Scott said. “He has the ability to take over games and he did (Monday night). I was very impressed.”
While soccer scorers are never perfect on shots, Clouse thought of one shot that was errant against the Chucks. He’s missed more in other games, but he’s now up to a whopping 16 goals for the season. The Bulldogs have scored 36 overall.
“I knew I was kind of the main scorer coming into the season, but outside of Monday’s game, it’s been pretty even with goals and assists. We’re playing great as a team. I knew I was going to score, but I didn’t think I’d get this many.”
Next Monday and Tuesday, the Bulldogs host Karns City and visit Keystone.