FLINT – Nobody knew what exactly to expect from Clio’s girls soccer team entering the 2021 season.

The Mustangs were coming off a 10-11-2 season in 2019 before the pandemic wiped out the 2020 campaign and this year’s 17-player roster featured five girls who had played soccer before.

Yet when the season finally ended Tuesday at Goodrich, Clio had won just the second girls soccer district championship in school history and laid the foundation for another solid season next spring.

“I couldn’t be happier,” coach Randy Matteson said after a 6-1 Division 2 regional loss to St. Clair. “We only have one senior so we’re returning 98 percent of our team. We had to start people who had never played soccer before and they grew.

“It was a total success.”

Despite their inexperience entering the season, the Mustangs finished with a 13-8-1 record and were one of only two Flint-area teams to reach the regionals. The other is Powers Catholic, the only girls soccer state champion in Flint-area history.

Not bad company, eh?

Clio was still standing when the six teams that finished ahead of the Mustangs in the Flint Metro League had already been sent packing from the tournament. Those teams included Linden, Fenton and Goodrich – three schools that annually field some of the strongest teams in the area.

“We started out really good then we hit the hard part of our schedule and kind of took some lumps and got a little low,” Matteson said. “Winning districts was a complete high that nobody expected except our team.

“Just an overall success. It gives us a lot of motivation to come back better next year.”

Junior midfielder Arizona Cray scored Clio’s lone goal vs. St. Clair, which will face the winner of the DeWitt-Bloomfield Hills Marian game Thursday night for the regional championship and berth in the state semifinals.

Cray and Taryn Eckert were the Mustangs’ top scorers this season. Eckert, a junior forward, had 30 goals and 13 assists while Cray scored 22 goals to go with 24 assists.

Powers, which has won 21 consecutive district titles and three state championships, plays Williamston at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Division 3 regional semifinal at Freeland.

MORE:

Flint-area girls soccer regional pairings

Flint-area district soccer results

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