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Cougars Drop Ave Maria in Double Overtime

(9-3-13) After inclement weather postponed the season-opener for the Cougars against Southeastern last Tuesday, Clearwater kicked off their 2013 season against NAIA opponent Ave Maria at home. The Cougars controlled possession throughout the first half, but were unable to capitalize on the chances they created in the final third. At halftime the score was still knotted at zero.
Ave Maria did a much better job of closing down the space afforded the Cougars once the second half began. The Gyrenes were able to get a goal late in the half. Clearwater answered within the next ten minutes with a thundering header from John Moore assisted by Brian Chidarikire. The team then turned up the pressure in search of the go ahead goal. After creating but failing to convert several chances in the dying moments of regulation, Clearwater went to overtime looking for a memorable first win for the second straight season.
In the second fifteen minutes of extra time, Clearwater found the game-winner. Nate Shefcyk tackled the ball away from an Ave Maria fullback, and Riley Tuininga beat the keeper on a 50-50 ball and gave the Cougars the 2-1 victory. Clearwater will take their first road trip this coming weekend, playing Columbia International University on Friday and Point University on Saturday.