Video surfaces of high school soccer player kneeing opponent in face

Published On October 18, 2012 | By Meredith Perri

About one week after a high school girls soccer player kneed her opponent in the face during a dead ball period, the video of the vicious act found its way to YouTube. Now, six days later, that video has over 2 million views, but the player in question has yet to receive punishment.

During the match between Woods Cross High School and Salt Lake City East High School, both located in Utah, Wood Cross’ Makenzie Clark fell to the ground after tearing a ligament in her ankle that required her to be carried off the field. Right after Clark hit the ground though, Petiola Manu from East High kneed Clark in the face and walked away.

“I just see my baby out there,” said Susie Clark, the injured player’s mother. “It makes me sick to my stomach. It was a dead ball. It was after the fact. It was after the play was over. It was a brutal, dirty shot.”

The play did not draw a yellow or red card.

East High’s principal Paul Sagers saw the video for the first time on Sunday, and sat down with Manu and the coach to discuss the incident. Manu has accepted responsibility and apologized for her actions.

Charges have not been filed against Manu, however, she will likely face punishment from her high school and could face disciplinary action from the Utah High School Activities Association, which has launched its own investigation into the incident.

“A knee to an unprotected head is unacceptable,” Susie Clark said. “That kind of unsportsmanship unacceptable, and I don’t want a player to get away with this to set a precedent for it to be able to happen again, that they can get away with soothing.”

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About The Author

Meredith is a junior journalism student at Boston University. She has covered nearly every sport for The Daily Free Press, BU’s independent student newspaper, but mainly writes about women’s hockey. Meredith has also covered Major League Baseball as an intern with SNY and Follow her on Twitter at @mere579.