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Capitalistic Cats

Goddard’s Andrew Young battles for a ball with Clovis sophomore Michael Hernandez in the first half of Tuesday night’s game in Clovis.Young scored Goddard’s goal in a 3-1 loss. (Staff photo by Rick White)

When Clovis senior Kendal Essex spied Roswell Goddard’s goalkeeper out of position early in the second half he didn’t hesitate to take a shot at the net — even at 25 yards out.

The decision proved vital for the Clovis Wildcats.

Essex’s two goals — and the Rockets rare but costly breakdowns on defense — led the Wildcats to a 3-1 win over Roswell Goddard Tuesday night in Clovis.

In a game that saw three players ejected, elbows and arms flopping like beached fish and coaches and referees exchanging spirited comments, the difference came down to which team capitalized on the other’s mistakes.

Sophomore Jayme Nauman also found Goddard goalkeeper Alex Lucus playing off the net in the first half and chipped a goal over his outstretched arms as the Wildcats (3-5) ended a five-game losing streak.

“It was head’s up play by our guys, we told them to look for that,” Clovis coach Shaun Gill said. “The keeper came up and we told them to fire — we can shoot from 20, 25 yards out. It was capitalizing on one of their mistakes.”

Roswell coach David Lawrence said the game was decided because of the goalkeeper — just not Goddard’s.

He said Wildcat goalkeeper Josh Bussen — who made 16 saves — kept his high-firing offense frustrated.

“Their keeper played a good game, because we had some shots that we should have put in the goal and we didn’t finish,” Gill said. “Their keeper kept them in that game the last 15 minutes.”

That was after Clovis senior Michael Fernandez was given a red card for violent contact, leaving the Wildcats down a player the rest of the game.

The penalty led to several offensive opportunities for Goddard and a score by Andrew Young, who had a few one-on-one chances with Bussen and finally capitalized.

Wildcats sophomore Scott Elliot and Goddard Mitch Joyce received yellow cards for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The game was pretty evenly matched throughout, with Clovis (3-5) having slow starts in the first and second halves.

Goddard outshot Clovis 14-13.

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