PARK CITY — Matt Clare’s motivation for his four goals and one assist Saturday against Tulsa didn’t come from the league stats, but rather from his leadership role.
Clare carried Wichita to a 9-2 home win over the Revolution, improving the B-52s to 3-4 while keeping Tulsa winless.
“When he plays well, obviously good things happen for the team as a whole,” B-52s coach Larry Inlow said. “He’s the first one to go to the guys in the locker room and say, ‘Thank you for working hard and giving me the opportunity.’ ”
Coming off of a 9-5 loss to Chicago, the midfielder felt pressure to go into the upcoming 19-day break with momentum.
“A win is obviously going to boost the morale of the whole team,” Clare said. “We go into the Christmas break now, and it’s not where we want to be exactly, but we still have a lot of room we can work with.”
Clare completed his second hat trick before halftime. After assisting Maikel Chang’s first goal 1 minute, 49 seconds into the game, Clare finished the first quarter with a goal at the top of the penalty arc assisted by Chris Lemons, and another when he dribbled down and slotted it past the goalie.
Tulsa cut Wichita’s lead to three with 9:41 remaining in the half, but Clare went far post with a hard shot to give Wichita a 5-1 lead at halftime.
Clare hit a strong shot into the upper left corner of the goal to re-energize the B-52s with 13 seconds remaining in the third quarter, and the B-52s scored two more goals in the final period.
Clare’s four goals came from 12 shots.
“Matt definitely comes out with leadership that we really feed off of,” Inlow said. “One of his goals was pure effort and speed on his half, and the guys just respond to that. I’m really happy with his performance this year, I’m really happy to have him.”
While Clare controlled Wichita’s offensive third, goalkeeper Jason Dewey stopped Tulsa’s pressure to hold the Revolution to two goals from 33 shots on goal. The game Saturday was Dewey’s second professional game, and his first in front of the home crowd.
“I believe that the saves that Jason Dewey were making were just fantastic, some of them unbelievable, really,” Inlow said. “He put on a display of goalkeeping here that he should be extremely proud of. It’s a big thing to everybody that we all stick together, and that we all fight for each other.”
Inlow thinks the win will help pull Wichita out of a early season slump, with its offensive effort matching its season-high number of goals, and the team transitions looking cleaner than early this season.
“Generating offense, we have some fantastic goal scorers, and some excellent shooters, there’s no question,” Inlow said. “But all of that is for nothing if you can’t work hard for somebody else to create the opportunity.”
Scoring — Wichita, Chang (Clare), 1:49; Cordoves (Moseley), 2:22; Clare (Lemons), 12:16; Clare (unassisted), 14;42. Penalties — None.
Scoring — Tulsa, Coleman (unassisted), 5:19; Wichita, Clare (Lemons), 12:18. Penalties — Tulsa, Tayou (six fouls), 0:59; Wichita, Lawter (six fouls), 12:43.
Scoring — Wichita, Lawter (Moseley), 3:37; Clare (Hobson), 14:47. Penalties — Tulsa, Parente (six fouls), 6:06.
Scoring — Wichita, Cordoves (unassisted), 3:55; Hobson (unassisted), 7:42; Tulsa, Parente (unassisted), 9:04. Penalties — Wichita, Clare (six fouls), 9:55.
Shots — Tulsa, 5-11-5-12 — 33; Wichita, 6-6-11-4 — 27. Goalies — Tulsa, Amos 18 on 27 shots; Wichita, Dewey 31 on 33 shots. A — NA.