Protecting a stalemate with just over three minutes to play, Frederick Community College goaltender Colton Clingan found himself as the only man between a Harford Community College attack and the goal. As the shooter approached, Clingan positioned himself and provided a crucial save on the potential go-ahead goal.
After Clingan made the game-saving play, both teams remained scoreless in the fourth quarter, leading to overtime. In overtime, Tyler Wilhelm received a pass just outside of the crease and found the back of the net, powering the Cougars past fifth-ranked Harford Community College, 8-7, at FCC. The victory is the program’s first win over a top-five nationally ranked opponent.
“Colton Clingan single-handedly won us this game,” FCC coach Todd Hawkins said. “He made some saves that he had no business saving.”
After falling out of the top-10 in the national poll, the Cougars were using this game as an opportunity to make a statement against a higher ranked opponent. Following the overtime goal, the celebration ensued. Wilhelm emerged from the scrum still displaying his emotion after he lifted his team to victory.
“I’ve always pictured scoring the game-winning goal, in overtime, in a big game,” said Wilhelm, who also added two goals in regulation.
After the game was tied at 1-1 in the second quarter, HCC threatened to take control when Austin Johnston scored the second of two consecutive goals to give his team a 3-1 advantage. FCC kept pace with goals from Wilhelm and Erwin Chacon, each of which were answered by goals by the Fighting Owls to make the halftime score 5-3.
HCC scored early in the third quarter to take a three-goal edge. In a momentum-altering stretch, FCC drew within one when Julian Young and Dan Pirrone scored within 13 seconds of one another.
From there, Clingan stymied the HCC offense as he repeatedly saved quality scoring chances, allowing just one goal the final 30 minutes of gameplay.
After FCC tied the game at 6-6 early in the fourth quarter with a goal from Patrick Cleveland, HCC reclaimed the lead thanks to a goal from Kasey Davenport with just over 10 minutes remaining. The Cougars drew even with another goal from Cleveland, who shot from mid-air right outside the crease with seven minutes to go.
Clingan’s crucial save was preceded by an unforced error on an attempted clear by FCC that was promptly intercepted and taken toward the net.
“I got put in that position and just happened to make a play,” Clingan said.
After an HCC turnover in overtime, FCC took possession and patiently awaited their opportunity to strike. FCC worked the ball around the perimeter before Anthony Arseneault beat his defender, forcing another defender to slide over, which left Wilhelm open just outside the goal where Arseneault found him for the game-winner.
FCC will finish their regular season with road games against Ocean County College and Potomac State College of WVU before heading into postseason play.
“I just think we’re getting hot at the right time of the year,” Clingan said. “I really think we can carry a lot of momentum into the playoffs from this.”