TIFFIN — Despite an 0-2 start to their season, members of the Clear Creek Amana boys’ soccer team knew it was not going to be another five-win campaign like last year.
A productive, focused offseason of work signaled better days were ahead for the Clippers.
“Everybody being dedicated and actually coming in,” CCA senior goalkeeper Blake Malli said after the Class 2A No. 15 Clippers defeated 1A No. 15 Williamsburg, 2-1, in a Wamac Conference match Monday at Clear Creek Amana High School. “Last season, there were some people that were dedicated and there were some people that were on the fence. This season, we really went all in on trying to win.”
The victory was the 10th in the last 11 matches for CCA (10-3, 5-1 Wamac), which clinched at least a share of the Wamac West Division title for the first time since 2015. A home win by Williamsburg (5-6, 1-4) Tuesday against 1A No. 12 South Tama would give CCA the crown outright.
“It’s everything,” CCA senior defender Spencer Karkosh said. “All the hard work we put in the offseason is paying off. The little wins are just everything to us.”
The turnaround began with an eight-match win streak that including an astonishing four overtime victories in a span of six matches.
“Just playing together,” ninth-year CCA Coach Tim Benson “It shows that a season is a journey. We could have been mad, and we were, after those two losses and thought we were in for another 2018. … I think that just kind of proved to us that effort pays off.”
Senior forward Mitch Evans posted his seventh goal of the season — which ties him for the team lead with junior Trevor King — for a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute.
Williamsburg senior Leighton Jones tied the match just five minutes later with his first goal of the season.
The match remained tied until the 64th minute, when a slow roller from CCA junior Rahabot Habte gave the Clippers the lead for good.
CCA will host Solon Tuesday before beginning substate play with a home match against Maquoketa May 20.
“We are staying together, making sure we are always a team,” Malli said. “Making sure we are putting in as much effort as we can.”
Class 2A No. 15 Clear Creek Amana 2, 1A No. 15 Williamsburg 1
Goals — WIL: Leighton Jones (1); CCA: Mitch Evans (7), Rahabot Habte (4).
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