COOS BAY — A draw isn’t necessarily a bad thing in soccer, but for the Southwestern Oregon Community College men, Wednesday’s draw with visiting Clark was frustrating.
“I honestly feel like we dominated,” said SWOCC defender Dylan Krufal. “We had most of the ball possession. We were aggressive. We were first to the ball, and to the second ball.”
Southwestern Oregon Community College's Max Ivan Jimenez fends off a challenge by Clark College's Benjamin Espinosa at SWOCCon Wednesday.
But the Lakers had a pair of goals taken away, one in each half, and despite numerous opportunities, weren’t able to get a counting ball into the next.
“I felt we deserved more than we got from the game,” SWOCC coach Brad Williams said. “When you have almost total domination and where possession is controlled in their half, it’s disappointing not to win.”
But, Williams added, the performance of the team was encouraging.
The Lakers had a series of great chances starting about 60 minutes in, but couldn’t get any of them on line past Clark goalkeeper David Gonzalez Martin.
“We’re close to where we want to be,” Williams said.
While SWOCC had most of the possession, the Penguins had a couple of great chances in the second half from long range that were repelled by new Lakers goalkeeper Vince Goelst — one by Valentin Gudz and the other by Kleon Keang.
“Vince made two top-quality saves for us,” Williams said.
Just having Goelst in the lineup has been a bonus for the Lakers. The student from Holland showed up for classes about the same time SWOCC’s starting goalie, Tristen Spaeth, suffered a season-ending knee injury. Wednesday was his first start.
“Luckily, Vince showed up,” Williams said.
Krufal praised Goelst’s work in goal and pointed out of the shutout and draw, “A clean sheet is good — a point is a point. Everybody in our league is a good team.”
SWOCC is 2-1-2 at the midway point of the South Region season, trailing Lane (4-1-0) and Chemeketa (3-2-0) in the standings.
Southwestern Oregon Community College's Max Jung heads the ball in front of the Clark College net as Dylan Gomes defends Wednesday at SWOCC.
The Lakers handed Lane its only loss, in Eugene, and fell to Chemeketa in Salem. The top three teams at the end of the season advance to the playoffs.
“We’re still in good shape to make the playoffs if we can keep getting points going forward,” Williams said.
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Chemeketa, Lane and fourth-place Rogue all visit the Lakers during the second round of league play. Wednesday was their first match on their new pitch.
“It’s such an amazing feeling,” Krufal said. “We’ve been waiting all preseason.
“We’ve been training at high schools and baseball fields. To finally have it here is amazing.”
“Having our own space is immensely valuable,” Williams said. “We were the travelling band there for a while. It really has worn on us.
“We have to use that adversity and grow from it.”
SWOCC’s women played before the men and fell to Chemeketa 3-2, falling behind 3-0 at halftime before nearly catching up.
“We had about five bad minutes,” SWOCC coach Gina Ramirez said.
Defensive communication miscues led to goals by Jackie Macias and Natalia Cedillo Rodr, both in the 26th minute, and Cedillo Rodr scored again in the 30th minute.
The Lakers, meanwhile, had chances of their own, including one shot that hit the post.
“We created opportunities,” Ramirez said.
She encouraged the players at halftime to keep battling and that she had confidence in them.
SWOCC finally broke through when Alanna Smith scored on a breakaway in the 57th minute and Kaylani Lautaimi scored on another breakaway in the 86th minute.
“We were pushing for the equalizer that last five minutes,” Ramirez said. “They never gave up. I was proud of them.”
The Lakers are 0-5-1 in league play, while Chemeketa is 1-4-1 at the midway point.
“We’ve seen everybody now,” Ramirez said. “We know what to expect going forward.”
SWOCC’s men and women visit Portland on Sunday. They are both home again next Wednesday, the women against Rogue and the men against Lane.