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Owen Clouse Breaks Redbank Valley Boys Soccer Career Goals Mark in Win Over Forest

NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Owen Clouse figured his soccer days were over.

He played as a young boy, but gave up the soccer pitch for the football field.

A series of concussions changed that plan. Less than five years ago, Clouse found himself back in a soccer uniform for his junior high team.

Never did he think he’d accomplish in soccer what he did on Tuesday night.

With a goal just 20 seconds into the second half during a 10-1 win over Forest, Clouse became the all-time leading scorer in Redbank Valley boys soccer history.

It was his fourth of the game and 76th in his career, breaking the mark of 75 set by Keith Ochs in 2001.

“It feels incredible,” said Clouse, who is still only a junior. “I mean, I never thought I’d be at this point. Actually, I never thought I’d even be playing soccer. It’s surreal.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

But circumstances changed. Football was no longer an option because of those three concussions he suffered by the age of 10. There was no way his parents were going to watch him suffer a fourth.

Also a standout basketball and baseball player, soccer became his athletic outlet in the fall and he embraced it.

Using a rare and dazzling blend of speed, athleticism and the knack of putting toe to ball to find the back of the net, Clouse has continued to assault the record books at the school.

Almost a year ago to the day, he broke Ochs single-season goal-scoring record.

It was 32. Clouse ended up with 39.

With 33 already this season for the 12-1-1 Bulldogs, Clouse wants to break his own mark.

The next thing to scratch off his list: 100 goals. Then, who knows?

“That’s the plan,” Clouse said. “I still have my whole senior year.”

His immediate desire is to help his team win the District 9 Class A championship.

The Bulldogs are well on their way to being the favorite to claim the crown thanks to a dangerous and potent offense, led by Clouse, Owen Harmon, Ty Carrier, Nick Miller and Kieran Fricko, to name a few.

Clouse is cognizant of the fact that all that firepower around him has aided in his record-setting career.

“I mean, I couldn’t have done this without my team, my defense, my forwards, coaches and my parents, and my brother (twin Mason) and sister (Redbank Valley grad Claire), too,” Clouse said. “It’s really incredible. I thought going into the season that I was going to get double-teamed, but that really hasn’t happened because of (Harmon). I think he’s close to 30 goals.

“We have great kids out there,” he added. “Ty Carrier is great with the assists and Kieran Fricko, too. Nick Moore, our center-mid, he’s the best ballhandler and passer there is.”

Clouse actually thought he set the record in the first half when his throw-in bounced off a Forest player and into the goal.

But that didn’t count for Clouse. It went down as an own-goal.

Instead, he had to wait less than a minute into the second half for the milestone.

Fricko sent a perfectly placed pass to Clouse’s toe. It was an easy tap-in for the school mark.

Clouse had to wait a little longer for it to be announced.

“There was no one back in the press box yet,” Clouse said. “About three minutes later, they announced it.”

Clouse sometimes wonders what would have happened had he stuck with soccer instead of taking a pause to play football.

“A lot of what I do is just natural, like my athleticism,” he said. “That helps a lot, but you can definitely tell everyone has been playing longer. There are some things my teammates and opponents can do who have played longer that they can do better than I can.”

He also wonders what would have happened had he not suffered those three concussions that led him back to the pitch.

Clouse, though, is back in a football uniform this season as a place kicker for the Bulldogs. He’s also been able to get in the action a little bit on some trick plays on 2-point conversions.

He’s thrown a 2-point conversion pass and caught one this season. Both involved his brother, Mason, who is the holder on kicks.

“You know, just being out on the field like it was before, it just brings back good memories,” Clouse said. “I hope to do it again next year, too.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.