Penguins Start Strong but Challenges Loom

Soccer player slides forward making an attempt to hit the ball. Midfielder Rachel Lane slides as she attempts a cross into center field during a match against Rogue Community College at home. The women defeated Rogue 11-0 to maintain their lossless streak. The women have tallied 23 goals so far this season. (Ryan Robbins / The Independent)

The women’s soccer team, which enjoys a 2-0 record in conference play and a 4-0-1 record in season play so far, travels to Coos Bay Sept. 23 to face Southwestern Oregon.

Head Coach Sean Janson, who has led the team since 2014, said the players this year bring depth and character but are short on collegiate experience. Twenty of the 27 players are freshmen, he noted.

Still, Janson saluted the players’ “grit” and their “ability to persevere.”

The Penguins’ will also rely on the leadership of their four sophomore captains Brooke Kates, Brenna Bogle, Savannah Ware and Megan Fox.

Bogle leads the team in points with six goals and one assist. Four of those goals came from the Penguins’ 11-0 win over Rogue College. Goalie Natalie Walters was the player of the match after her goal in the 64th minute.

Maddie Reynolds leads the freshmen in scoring with four goals and two assists so far. She scored both goals in the 2-0 victory over Chemeketa College on Sept 12, knocking one in at minute 40 and following it up with a second in the 59th minute.  

Janson predicts that Chemeketa College and Lane College will be the squad’s stiffest competition. The team is set to play Chemeketa once more this season, and they will face Lane twice in October.

The only loss of the season thus far was an unofficial matchup against Northwest University. “The physicality that a four year university brings; Not only are they older, but they’re more experienced,” said Janson. “They understand how you can play more physical and still stay within the rules.”

While the women have advanced into the playoffs the past four years, Janson said that they are not really focusing on where they end up, but on developing all the talent of this young team.

Janson coached the men’s team for seven years prior to his switch to the women’s roster. He was hired just before last season, giving him the chance to build this young team looking ahead to 2015. “This year I got a full year of recruiting, so I was able to find some really quality freshmen,” said Janson.

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