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Cougars Stay Hot, Shutout Rival Southeastern

(9/5/2009) Clearwater, FL - On Thursday, Clearwater’s regional rivals, the Southeastern Fire, came to town for the first match up of the season. The Clearwater crowd was hyped for this rivalry matchup and showed up in droves to support their team.

The Cougars came out strong at the beginning of the game winning the ball in the midfield and capitalizing on mistakes made by the Fire. Juan Robayo scored off a cross from Bill Carlton just minutes into the first half which excited the crowd and set the tone for the rest of the match. This goal proved to be enough as the Cougars defense, led by defenders Jeff Crews, Lucas Hollenbach, and Matt Tewes, along with great play from goalie Anthony Derosse kept the momentum going for Clearwater. The Cougars held the Flames to only 7 shots on goal for the game and earned their second shutout of the season.

Midway through the 1st half, an error by the Southeastern keeper gave Drew Custer the opportunity to score his 3rd goal this season. Near the end of the first half, Adam Stallings had a chance to put the Cougars up by 3 goals with a beautiful header but the Southeastern keeper made a sprawling save to keep his team in the game. Southeastern came out strong in the second half but the Cougars defense answered with their own intensity and kept the Fire offense under control.

The match was intense and hardfought by both teams, but after the game both teams showed great sportsmanship as they met together at midfield after the game to thank God for a safe and well-played match.

After the game Coach Whitaker said, "This was a great win for our soccer program to start our season. I'm really proud of our guys and the way they came out and executed our game plan. Our defense really played well, and our attacking players did a great job of putting pressure on the Southeastern defense. We're excited about the win but we realize that it is very early in the season, and we need to continue to improve as the season goes on in order to achieve our goals."

The Cougars are in action again on September 8, 2009 at Glen Oaks Park as they host Florida Memorial University at 6:30 p.m.