CLINTON — The weather didn't stop the Clinton River Kings from keeping things exciting out on the turf at the River King & Queen Athletic Complex.
They did it with a 4-3 win over Davenport West Monday night, a game that ended in a penalty kick shootout.
"In the past, the last 50 minutes of the game have been rough for us, we kind of fall apart," Clinton coach Matt Hagge said. "It was absolutely freezing and the guys toes were frozen, I told them pain is temporary and pride is forever. Next week, you're going to remember this win you're not going to remember how cold you were. They really stuck with it."
It wasn't easy, that's for certain. The River Kings took an early 1-0 lead with a lot of early shots on goal, but found themselves trailing 3-1 at halftime.
Knowing that Davenport West took down Pleasant Valley just last week, they knew they were facing a good squad. That didn't stop Clinton.
"It was a huge upset for Davenport West to beat PV, so all the guys were a little leery," Hagge said. "I said play your game and they realized they could hang.
"It came down to who is going to win the 50/50 balls. Who is going to be more aggressive. We came out right away and I think the guys got some confidence and realize we can beat this team."
Clinton came out with that fire again and tied everything up. That sent them to sudden death overtime, where neither team could pull ahead. But, the River Kings got them in the shootout.
"Oh my goodness, it was up and down and up and down," Hagge said.
Senior Brennen Lemke had three goals on the night. He came into the night with 50 career goals, which they had already dubbed a school record.
Although that in itself is an interesting story.
"We set the record at 50 because the record books at Clinton High weren't really kept up," Hagge said. "We had to do a lot of research and go back and talk to old coaches to find out who possibly could have had the goal scoring record. We came to find out it was Brennen's uncle and he was at 42.
"Brennen came into the season at 45 already and I told him we can put your name on a plaque if you get to 50. If you get to 50, there's no question that anybody has even been close."
He did that in Solon this last weekend, where the River Kings went 1-2. Now, he sits at 53.
"I'm thinking he will be 60-65 at the end of the season. In 31 years of Clinton High Soccer, that's pretty stellar feat," Hagge said. "Brennen is just one of those kids who plays every sport every year. He starts out with football, then from football to basketball, then from basketball to soccer, then when soccer is over to baseball. He's going to play football and baseball in college. Soccer isn't even his best sport and look what he's doing for our team."
The River Kings now improve to 3-3 on the season, and will face Pleasant Valley at home on Friday. PV has only lost one game this season. Hagge just wants to see his team stay confident, like they were under pressure Monday night.
"Build the momentum and confidence. Stick to your game plan and anything can happen in this game."