Scoring sensation: Courtney Clark continues to showcase her skills for ‘Dogs

Photo by Gretel Daugherty—Palisade’s Natalie Combs proved to be very good at using her head Tuesday during the Bulldogs’ 6-0 victory over Rifle. In addition to controlling this ball with her head, Combs later scored on a header.

Courtney Clark needed one game to show what she can do on the soccer field.

The Palisade High School freshman started the season on the junior varsity and scored three goals in her first game. That was enough for Palisade coach Raina Sorensen to see she can play on the varsity.

Clark scored one goal and had two assists Tuesday night to lead the Bulldogs to a 6-0 victory over Rifle at Walker Field.

“She played the first game on JV because she hasn’t played since the sixth grade and didn’t have many practices,” Sorensen said. “We put her in the JV and she scored three goals, so we said that’s her first and last JV game.

“She’s come a long ways. She has a nose for the goal. She’s one of those kids, she gets the ball and goes at it and gets goals out of it. It’s worked out perfectly for us.”

Clark admitted to being intimidated joining the varsity team, but it helped having her older sister, Mackenzie, on the team.

“I was excited, but it was kind of scary the first game,” Courtney Clark said. “It was a home game, so I was nervous.”

Clark has scored in nearly every game since her promotion as the Bulldogs (7-1-1, 6-1 WSL) have gone on a six-game winning streak.

She assisted Mackenzie’s goal in the 48th minute.

“I was looking for her and heard her yelling my name,” Clark said. “I saw her open. I think being sisters helps us work together.”

Less than two minutes later, Bella Castleton and Mackenzie assisted Courtney’s goal.

“The goals that came in a row from the Clark sisters stood out to me,” Sorensen said. “They worked well together. They passed the ball and created space for themselves to take good shots. We need our forwards doing that. We can’t have all our goals coming from the midfield.”

Palisade capped the victory with a goal by Logan Ragar off a corner kick. The Bulldogs had five corner kicks in the game.

“We had a game last week against Eagle and 10 corner kicks and nothing came of them,” Sorensen said. “We spent time in practice last week saying we can’t do that again, let 10 corner kicks go and nothing come of them.”

Palisade’s Flannery Davis scored two goals and Natalie Combs scored on a header assisted by Hannah Etcheuery off a free kick in the first half.

The Bulldogs (7-1-1, 6-1 WSL) took 18 shots. Rifle goalkeeper Jinna Harper made 12 saves.

Palisade goalkeeper Amelia Davis saved the one Rifle shot on goal.


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