Golden Eagle booters claim first win

CLARION. Kylee Cross buried a penalty kick in the 49th minute to give the Golden Eagle soccer team a thrilling victory at home, putting Clarion over the top against Cal U by a 1-0 score. Playing in front of a spirited crowd at Memorial Stadium for the first time this season, the Golden Eagles (1-1-0, 1-1-0 PSAC West) gave head coach Alexa Ream her first career conference victory.

Cross's goal came as the result of extensive pressure and excellent ball control by the Golden Eagles, who edged the Vulcans in shots and corners in the first half. That success carried over into the second half, when Madison Spitko drew contact from Haley O'Brien in the box to earn a penalty kick. Cross teed up the shot and tucked it neatly into the upper left-hand corner, beating keeper Emily Ouimet to put Clarion ahead 1-0.

The Vulcans turned it on in the remaining action, out-shooting the Golden Eagles 10-3 in the half. Clarion netminder Alexandra Velez stood tall, making all four of her saves for the match in the second half. As Cal U turned up the heat, Velez kept the Vulcans at bay, though she was also aided by a bit of luck in the 82nd minute. Claire Mercurio came in close and had a clear shot at the net, booting the ball past Velez but ringing it off the post.

That seemed to spark the Golden Eagles in the final 10 minutes of action, as Clarion re-established the solid control they utilized in the first half to keep the Vulcans out of advantageous positions.