BOYS SOCCER: Clarkston cruises past Oxford to reach district finals | North Oakland Sports

BOYS SOCCER: Clarkston cruises past Oxford to reach district finals

| October 19, 2017 | Comments (0)



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ROCHESTER HILLS — Clarkston made sure there was no monumental letdown in its district semifinal match against Oxford Wednesday.

Even if the Wolves’ coaching staff felt their team was far off its best game.

Two days after upsetting three-time OAA Red Division champion Rochester Adams 3-2 in a game that reached a shootout, Clarkston played a little flat but still managed to oust Oxford, 4-0, in a Division 1 district semifinal at Rochester.

The unranked Wolves will look to keep its postseason train on the tracks with a 6 p.m. meeting Friday with 10th-ranked Rochester, a 3-0 winner over Rochester Stoney Creek in Wednesday’s second semifinal.

“We were a little flat tonight, but we managed to pull through,” said Clarkston coach Curtis Payment. “Fortunately we scored two first-half goals and didn’t allow them much. I was worried that we might have a letdown. We can’t play this way again Friday in the district finals.”

Clarkston dominated the contest, holding a lopsided 21-5 shots edge, including 17-4 with shots on frame, and even held a 4-1 differential on cornerkicks. Still, the Wolves (10-6-5) managed just four goals.

Part of that was the play of Oxford freshman goalkeeper Tristian Bennett, who kept Oxford in the game with 13 saves.

Oxford (5-11-3) finished up a major rebuilding year that featured as many as five freshmen and three sophomores starting in some games.

“We are very young, the youngest team I can ever remember having,” said Oxford coach John Thaler. “But at one time out there we had four freshmen in the field, three sophomores and another freshman in goal for us and he was one of our best players all season. A lot of our seniors are not starters. I felt we played a lot better down the stretch of the season, but we were overmatched against Clarkston. We’ll be good in the future.”

Junior Noah Bridgeman was called upon to make just four saves on the night for the Wolves’ eighth shutout of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Clarkston’s offense scored two goals in each half to end the Wildcats’ season.

Senior Brady Dickens finished with a goal and an assist, while senior Finn Eblenkamp recorded the natural hat trick for Clarkston, which reached the district finals for the fourth time in five years.

Senior Bailey Dula notched two assists for the Wolves, including the final two goals off his cornerkicks.

Clarkston is 5-1-2 in its last eight games with a 37-11 scoring edge in that stretch.

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