About 13 minutes later, Ibarra attacked from the left side and had a one-on-one opportunity against Marilim but pushed his shot wide in front of the goal.
“I tried to come up on him and stop the angle,” Marilim explained. “If I stay back, he’s got too much time to shoot. I had a really good game; most of those were just luck.”
In the 73rd minute, Ricky Gallegos had a breakaway opportunity for the Comets. This time, though, Clinton’s defense got back to help Marilim, who made a block save. The defense came up big a couple more times in the final minutes. Marilim made a save off a corner kick about a minutes later, then another, with help from his defense, on a rush by Ibarra late in the 78th minute.
“He was phenomenal,” Hagge said of Marilim. “Travis Mink and Brandon Burkhart on defense were great. They took turns on (Fierro).”
Clinton finished with eight shots on goal, most in the first half. Marc Obren scored the Kings’ lone goal. It came in the 10th minute, when John Gunderson had the ball in the penalty box and found Obren open at the top of the box, about 20 yards out. Obren’s shot hit the right post and went past West Liberty goalkeeper Bryan DeBock and into the goal.
“John gave me a great pass at the top of the penalty box,” Obren said. “Their defense was really staying in the box, so I was wide open from the top of the box.”
It was Obren’s first goal of the year, and the second assist for Gunderson, who leads Clinton with four goals.
Hagge said scoring early was important for the Kings.
“We knew that the wind always is a factor on Ashford’s field, and we’ve played well early and had trouble finishing, so we wanted the wind (at the start),” he said.