By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
TIFFIN – As time ticked down and the scoring opportunities continued to pile up everyone from Clear Creek Amana seemed to have the same thought.
“I thought for sure, sooner or later we were going to get a goal,” Clear Creek Amana senior Wyatt Sedlacek said.
Despite a flurry of second-half offensive opportunities the goal that Sedlacek and the Clippers were waiting for never came.
The result for Class 2A No. 13 Clear Creek Amana was a 1-0 loss to 1A eighth-ranked West Liberty in a non-conference match at Clipper Field in Tiffin.
“Any time you are in a 1-0 game or a 0-0 game there is no room for any mistakes and you have to make the most of the opportunities you have,” Clear Creek Amana coach Tim Benson said. “We had some and we didn’t make them.”
Andres Garcia gave West Liberty (4-3) the lead 10 minutes in and Clear Creek Amana could never pull even as the Clippers had a six-match winning streak snapped.
Clear Creek Amana had a slew of scoring opportunities in the final 40 minutes but couldn’t slip a shot past West Liberty sophomore keeper Carlos Atondo while dropping to 6-2 on the season.
“It was one of those games that we gave one up early and we couldn’t really capitalize on the opportunities that we had,” Sedlacek said. “We were really hoping that one would kind of find its way into the goal, we just couldn’t get lucky enough.”
Operating with a strong wind at its back, West Liberty didn’t waste any time taking an early lead.
Garcia snuck a shot past Clear Creek Amana keeper Ian McDonald from inside 18 yards to put the Comets up 1-0 in the 10th minute.
“I think we just didn’t get pressure in time and the guy turned a took a shot,” Benson said. “That is why you preach pressure, pressure, pressure just to make sure a guy can’t turn on you that close to the goal. The kid made a good shot, he went near post and Ian got his hands on it but it still went in the goal.”
West Liberty controlled the first half but led just 1-0 at intermission.
Clear Creek Amana immediate asserted itself on the offensive end after halftime.
The Clippers put shot after shot on frame in the second half but couldn’t find the net.
“We created about as many opportunities as we normally do, it was a little low in the first half because we had the wind against us and we couldn’t get out of our half,” Sedlacek said. “The second half went well we just didn’t get on the right end of our shots.”
Many of the best scoring chances for the Clippers came in the final 20 minutes.
Pau Alberich had a shot in a one-on-one opportunity saved by Atondo in the 65th minute and Mitch Evans had a shot soar just high from inside 10 yards out in the 74th minute.
“We struggled a little bit brining the energy,” Clear Creek Amana senior Sam Evans said. “We were lacking that today.”
The scoring chances continued to pile up in the final minutes as Clear Creek Amana controlled possession for most of the final 40 minutes.
Clear Creek Amana had three free kicks from just outside the box in the final four minutes, all ended up in missed opportunities.
“Standing here watching the whole half you feel like eventually we are going to get one of these to go,” Benson said. “But they are a good team, they are smart and they clear the ball extremely well.”