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Comeback season ends for Chemeketa Women’s Soccer

Moments from the Storm’s memorable 2017 season.
Photos by Andre Panse.

After a 2016 season plagued with problems, Chemeketa’s women’s soccer team ended their 2017 season with a strong showing.

The 2017 team ended this season with a final record of 5-8-3, a marked improvement over the previous season.

“Last year was a rough season for us. It was a rebuilding year and we finished last in the region,” Sara Landis, the team’s head coach, said.

Calling the 2016 season rough is an understatement. The team had a total of nine players, which falls short of the required 11 to cover a soccer field. On top of the lack of players, the team also suffered a number of injuries which prevented them from playing in full force.

“There were a few games where we played with literally seven to eight people,” Cierra Howard, a member of both the 2016 and 2017 teams, said. “We were going into games like, ‘We really don’t have a chance,’ but we went out and battled. At that point the goal was just to get better at defense.”

Despite the difficult previous season, the 2017 team managed to fight their way back to being competitive. With a renewed player count of 21 (19 freshmen and two returning sophomores), the team was able to finish the season in fifth place.

“All of us have played soccer for a long time,” Howard said. “Years and years. We’ve all put in a lot of work before we got here. So, there’s always rough days where you’re like ‘ugh, I gotta go to practice again.’ But… you’ve already invested so much. We can’t let that go. And everyone here has a passion for it; we all love soccer.”

The passion Howard speaks of is evident in the team’s performance and work ethic. Between games and practice, they are together six days a week and working hard.

“I think the best thing about this team really is that they all get along,” Landis said. “They love hanging out with each other, they love showing up to practice… this is actually a really, really great group. They are here to play, and they want to compete and they want to work hard. It makes it fun to come.”