Women’s soccer team guts it out against physical Clark College
By EMILY SISK
After starting its conference schedule with three wins, the Chemeketa Storm lost 2-1 on the road Wednesday to Lane Community College.
In its home game on Saturday, the Storm looked to regain form against Clark College.
It was a difficult match that ended in a tie at 2-2.
From the opening whistle, it appeared that Wednesday’s defeat had shaken the Storm’s confidence. During the second minute, Clark struck a shot on goal that was swept up by goalkeeper Alyssa Flores.
The Storm fired three shots on net in the tenth minute, raising the hopes of the small crowd that had gathered to watch the game.
But for the rest of the half, Clark dominated.
The Storm had difficulty stringing together offensive sequences,
More harmful than the offensive woes were the problems occurring in the Storm’s defensive third. Multiple passes made by the Storm defense sailed past their teammates, with many ending up at the feet of Clark players.
Adding to the Storm’s troubles was the physical play of Clark, particularly in the midfield.
Coach Art Mota and the bench players complained about the aggressive play to the referees throughout the half. Although fouls were given out to Clark players, the yellow and red cards stayed in the referee’s pocket.
Storm captain Taylor Waite said afterward that Clark’s physicality probably got the best of the team initially.
“There’s a lot of teams in this league that play physically, and unfortunately we can’t control that. And we can’t control what the refs call,” she said.
Although both teams were scoreless at the half, the Storm was fortunate that it wasn’t trailing.
Amid lackadaisical play, the Storm managed five shots on goal, three of which came from freshman midfielder McKenna Kendall.
The second half started with a Clark shot seconds after the whistle, forcing Flores to come off her line and grab the ball.
In the 51st minute, the Storm committed a foul in front of the goal, setting up Clark for a dangerous free kick.
The shot went in, and Chemeketa trailed 1-0.
As play resumed in the midfield, Waite was thrown to the ground by a Clark player. The referee issued a yellow card, much to the enthusiasm of Mota.
The Storm caught another break in the 56th minute when Clark was called for a handball in the box. This set up a penalty kick for sophomore midfielder Febe Samano.
The score evened to 1-1 as Samano scored.
The tie was short-lived. Following three shots by Clark, the Storm committed another costly foul in the 68th minute near its own goal.
Clark scored on the free kick and was now ahead 1-2.
As stoppage time began, it seemed that Clark would earn all 3 points available for a win, which was exactly how many the team needed to overtake the Storm for second place in the South NWAAC division.
The Storm was then able to do something that had eluded the team all afternoon.
Holly Martinez-Moorman, who scored the last goal in their previous home game, provided an assist to fellow freshman forward Alex VanAmburgh. The diminutive powerhouse then ran the ball past the Clark keeper, who had stranded herself after coming off her line early.
VanAmburgh’s shot ended the game at 2-2.
“It was satisfying,” she said later.
The result was almost a relief, given the struggles that the Storm fought through.
“Fortunately we were able to come out with a couple of goals and end up with a tie, so I’m pretty happy considering,” Waite said.
Chemeketa remains in second place in the division, with Clark trailing by a point.
The Storm’s next game is at 2 p.m. this Wednesday against Clackamas in Oregon City. Chemeketa will then take on Southwest Oregon at noon on Saturday at Willamette.