A depleted bench and a quiet head coach watched as the final seconds of the worst season in Clackamas Community College soccer history ended Wednesday, Oct. 24, with a 1-0 loss to Clark College at Pioneer Memorial Stadium in Oregon City. The Cougars finished with an overall record of 1-10-4 under first year head coach Miriam Coto.
The Cougars focused on defense more than offense and it showed statistically as Clackamas finished the season only allowing 28 goals, but the offense struggled to put points on the scoreboard finishing with four goals in the entire season, with two of the four goals coming in the Sept. 14 win versus Chemeketa Community College. Clackamas averaged 9.6 shots on goal per game, but averaged less than a goal per game with a goals for average of 0.27.
“[Creatively] we definitely kind of struggled especially in the offensive end,” sophomore midfielder Lauren Rock said.
Clackamas started the season 0-2-2 and according to sophomore midfielder Eileen Reyna, it took the Cougars a little time to gel as a team.
“We didn’t know how to play with each other, we couldn’t click,” Reyna said. “The chemistry wasn’t there at first, and it ended up coming at the very end.”
Another struggle Clackamas faced was injuries. According to Rock, sometimes the Cougars were so riddled with injuries they couldn’t field 11 players on the field.
“We never really gave up,” Rock said. “We were down players for a lot of the season playing with one or two subs or even with less than 11 people on the field, but we played really hard every single game and never gave up.”
Out of the 10 losses, Clackamas held opponents to one goal in six of the losses and in the final game of the season, the Cougars showed that even if the wins were still eluding them, they had improved. Holding Clark to one goal in the final game was a far cry from the eight goals they conceded in the first meeting of the two squads.
“It was kind of a building year for us,” sophomore defender Kelsey Houston said. “We had a lot of people go and we had new coaching, so I think next year will be better.”
Looking forward to next season Clackamas is hopeful that the communication and team chemistry they worked so hard on this year will carry over to the next season.