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Cougars Win Season Opener

After nearly a two hour delay, the Clearwater men’s soccer era under new head Coach Sam Greeley began Friday night, August 31. The first opponent of the 2012 season was NAIA program Johnson and Wales Wildcats from North Miami. It took the young Clearwater squad the opening 15 minutes to settle into the match as they struggled to put passes together in the opposition’s half. Both sides found it difficult to carve out clear chances in a cagey opening half.

The game really opened up in the second 45 minutes, with Clearwater appearing to take the lead midway through the half, only to have Brian Chidarikire whistled for offsides. Shortly after, Johnson and Wales was given a prime opportunity to grab a 1-0 lead following a foul in the box by CCC defender Nathan Shefcyk. The chance was left wanting when Pedro Cudo sent his penalty kick over the frame.

The breakthrough CCC was looking for came in the 79th minute with a goal from freshman Brian Edman. Senior center midfielder Brian Chidarikire slotted a ball to the top of the box where Edman found the side netting to beat the Wildcats’ keeper. Johnson and Wales threw numbers forward in the final 10 minutes in an effort to find the equalizer. The reward nearly came with less than five minutes before time when a shot came from inside the 18 and struck the crossbar. Clearwater was able to hold on to the shutout and secure the victory behind several big saves from senior Anthony DeRosse.