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Thursday, February 22, 2024
Feb. 22, 2024

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Clark College soccer seeks redemption

Penguins meet Bellevue in NWAC playoffs Saturday

By , Columbian Staff Writer

Clark College women’s soccer has outscored opponents a combined 52-1 on its way to an undefeated season, but there’s only one thing that can erase the feeling of being eliminated in the semifinals last season: redemption.

That’s especially true for Sarah Teubner.

The sophomore leads the team in goals (8) and assists (11) this season and is determined to usurp the penalty kick loss to Highline that cut Clark season short, in which her penalty kick was saved.

“It was a heartbreaker,” Teubner said. “I told myself I was never going to let it get to that situation again. I’m not going to let it get to PKs. I’m going to lead this team. We’re going to go together.”

For the sophomores, avenging that loss is a motivator when Clark College begins the Northwest Athletic Conference playoffs with a second round matchup against Bellevue College at home on Saturday at noon.

“If you look at the past NWAC champions performances its the same 2-3 teams, Highline, Peninsula, every year.” Teubner said. “It’s expected they’re going to continue to dominate.”

The Penguins are determined to buck that trend this postseason.

Beyond Teubner, Clark (11-0-1) boasts a balanced attack. Six players have scored four or more goals. Midfielder Mia Castaneda has eight assists on the season. Their lone tie of the season, a 1-1 result, came on Oct. 6 against Lane.

The Penguins return a sizable portion of its roster from last season, but even then, success in terms of outscoring opponents 52-1 came as a surprised to first year head coach Jeff Castagnola.

Castagnola, who was an assistant under Sean Janson for two and a half seasons, is in his fourth year with the program and took over for Janson this season.

Despite the lopsided goals for/against, Castagnola said the Penguins have been tested plenty.

“While it looks on paper that we strolled through, it was a difficult year,” he said.

Though one place the Penguins have fared favorable is injuries (“knock on wood,” Castagnola said). Clark battled multiple injuries to key players during its 2017 postseason run, but aside from one season-ending injury, has remained largely unscathed this season.

Leading up to the game Saturday, Teubner admitted nerves — “nerves make you play better,” she assured.

As a mental break from the training the Penguins went bowling as a team on Halloween. Split up into four teams, one dressed as nurses, another elderly women, one team went as cards from the game Card Against Humanity and the last dressed up as the family from the cartoon Bob’s Burgers.

It was a nice break from the preparation for what Clark expects to be a “very good team” on Saturday.

“It’s going to come down to whichever team makes the least amount of mistakes,” Castagnola said.

Columbian Staff Writer