Clark College men’s soccer team lost to Rogue 3-1 on Monday, Oct 16.
Rogue was up 2-0 at halftime, but Clark started to make a comeback by scoring a goal in the second half. Then Rogue came back and scored another goal and was able to hold on and the Penguins drop to 4-4-2 overall and 2-4-2 in conference play.
Clark’s head coach Darren Pitfield was unable to make it to the game, so associate head coach Ivan Basquill filled in as the head coach in Pitfield’s place. Basquill didn’t think Rogue did anything that challenged Clark. He didn’t think the players were well prepared for this game.
“Honestly, I don’t think it was so much what Rogue did, but I think it was what we didn’t do. I don’t think that they came out in the first half with that competitive edge. I think they underestimated Rogue,” Basquill said. “We gave them the warnings, and it’s just one of those trap games and they fell into it. They were overly confident. Clearly when you have that kind of attitude against a team that’s got nothing to lose, then results like this happen.”
Clark went on the road Wed, Oct 23 to take on Lane Community college in Eugene. Basquill talked about the strengths of Lane and how Clark needs to prepare for that.
“They sit in. They play in a deep block. For us, it’s exposing the wide areas, finding those balls, and getting behind their back-line, and then defending against the counter. So just making sure that we clog up the middle and force their counter to go out wide and allow us to retreat, but we had a good showing against them last time, but we were just a little bit unfortunate to finish our chances; they finished their one good opportunity, and even though their record states that they’re on top of the league, I like our chances.”
Clark has three players that are among the best on the team that are academically ineligible. Basquill discussed how the ineligible players and the rest of the team has responded to that adversity.
“I don’t have a measurement to compare it to. I don’t know how many times this happens, but I think it’s been good. All of them have shown up to training and have been mentors to the younger guys,” Basquill said. “Everything comes with challenges, but I think collectively as a group, getting thrown into that at the beginning of the year brought us more together and more clarity, and it’s given a lot of younger guys an opportunity to play, so that gives them experience for next year no matter where we finish this year.”
Clark has 17 freshmen on the team, and Basquill talked about how they’ve overcome those growing pains so the team can bounce back, improve, and help the team next season.
“I think they now have a better understanding of how to tactically play the game. They’re all talented kids. They’ve got the ability, and they’re here for a reason whether it’s academics or attitude, or whether it’s quality, but I think they’ve done well as far as a collective whole to embrace what Miguel, Darren and I are trying to teach them,” Basquill said. “Again, if they can continue to do what they need to do in the classroom, then I think the future is bright, but that’s their responsibility, so we’ll do whatever we can to help them.”