Strong Soccer Seasons come to an End

A group of soccer players are huddled in the field The women’s soccer team prepares for another rainy half at the Halloween south region title game. The Penguins were beating Lane Community College 1-0 at the end of the first half, but a Lane goal in the 49th minute tied the game 1-1. This put Clark in second place for the NWAC playoffs. (Ryan Robbins / the Independent)

The season ended for both the women’s and men’s soccer teams.  Both teams fell in the quarterfinals of the NWAC playoffs.

Their seasons ended within hours of each other, with the men losing to Tacoma Community College in penalty kicks (2-4).  The women lost to Highline Community College 2-0 after a goal in the first minute of the game. That was sophomore captain Megan Fox’s last collegiate game.

While this was the first time the women’s team has advanced this far, it was nothing new for the men. The men were knocked out of the tournament at the same stage last year by Skagit Valley. In 2013, they were runner-ups to Peninsula. According to the NWAC website, this is the fourth season that the men have clinched first in their region.

Their south region championship earned the Penguins a first round bye in the tournament. This is head coach Brett Jacobs’ first year with Clark.

After a muddy women’s regional championship game, the soaked Penguins prepared for the playoffs in second place, despite their undefeated season. A 1-1 tie against Lane Community College gave the Titans first place as they came into the game one point ahead of Clark. Even Oswald the penguin attended the Halloween downpour taking pictures with fans.

“I thought we played really hard given the condition of the field and the weather,” said women’s head coach Sean Janson. He said he was proud of his team and that they “ran out of time.”

Jansen said he told the team that is was a new season going into the playoffs and to pretend they were 0-0.

Four days later, the women traveled to Harmony Sports Complex to challenge Treasure Valley, previously recording both a win and a loss against the Chukars.

“We couldn’t wait to play them again,” said Janson. Fox remembers, “We were ready to come back and show them that we are the better team.”  

The Penguins succeeded with a 3-0 victory and a spot in a quarterfinal game, just three days later.

Last year the women lost in the first playoff round and Janson said that he is proud of their improvement. He also said that he expects the 20 freshmen on the roster this year to continue the improvement and take them further next year.

“I told the players that I’ve have teams that were more talented, but I’ve never had a team of such great people,” said Janson.

Freshman Ellie Quercia led the team in points recording 40 with 14 goals and 12 assists. Another sophomore captain Brenna Bogle was one point behind Quercia after 17 goals and 5 assists. Quercia and Bogle ranked fifth and sixth in the NWAC consecutively.

According to Janson, the team will now have some time off to, “let wounds heal.”

Fox plans to leave soccer behind and transfer to Pacific University to study dental hygiene.  “The last two years have been the best two years of soccer,” she said.

Fox said that Janson and assistant coaches Kat Tarr and Josh Nichols have been more than just coaches to her and her team mates. “They’re always excited to be there and they make you love the game too,” she said.

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