By Amelia Eichel
After two years of winning the league in the second division, Lewis & Clark Men’s Club Soccer decided to move up to the first division in the Cascade Collegiate Soccer League, pitting them against the best teams in the region who have many more resources than they do.
“We’ve all worked hard to get to the top division and now it’s on us to prove that we belong there,” team captain Will Hahne ’20 said. “The competition is a good bit tougher, as expected, but nothing we can’t handle.”
They began the season with a 3-1 loss against University of Portland on Oct. 6 and came back with a 2-2 tie against University of Oregon the next day.
“The game against U of O on Sunday left us feeling pretty good about our chances this season,” team captain Fox Pfund Pulliam ’20 said. “U of O is the best team in the league and wins almost every year so we were expecting to be on the defensive but we managed to create two goals and force them to equalize.”
The team played U of O in Eugene on Oct.10 and lost.
“These other teams have coaches and they have a team philosophy of how they defend and attack and who’s going to be where at what time, so it leaves us playing catch-up and trying to rely on individual talent; we have a lot of that,” Pfund Pulliam said.
Title IX, a civil rights law aimed at preventing sex discrimination in colleges, requires colleges to spend an equal amount of money on men’s and women’s NCAA sports. Since LC only has a men’s football team, they balance spending by only having a women’s NCAA soccer team and making men’s soccer a club sport.
“We have a budget of $2,450 that we need to stretch for the Cascade Collegiate Soccer League fee, equipment like balls, cones, pinnies, and first aid, transportation, and the entrance fee of a spring tournament hosted by OSU,” Pfund Pulliam said.
The budget does not cover a coach’s salary, so the captains Pfund Pulliam, Hahne, and John Cabrera ’21 handle scheduling, practices, and game preparation.
“Our practice time is perhaps the biggest issue with being a club,” Pfund Pulliam said.
“Our season is in the fall, which means we have to compete with Football and Women’s Soccer for field space on top of the other club sports, Riverdale High School, and the adult flag football league that plays at Griswold. Jim Tursi, the Women’s Soccer coach, is our faculty representative and is our biggest source of support from the school. He generously gives us half of the field during Women’s Soccer practices on Thursdays so that we can practice as well.”
Most of the men’s soccer players also play a modified form of indoor soccer called futsal on Wednesdays and Sundays. One of the centerbacks, John Rauen ’21 is also the intramural coordinator for futsal.
“We are unfortunately only given two hours of practice time a week, and that is not enough time to compete against the bigger schools like U of O and OSU at a high level,” Rauen said. “Because of the situation we are in, intramurals gives all the guys on the team a chance to get more touches on the ball in a fun and low stakes environment.”
The team lost 4-1 against Portland State University Oct. 21. The team will play a home game against Oregon State University at 8 p.m on Nov 3, and they have an away game against PSU on Nov. 4 at 10 a.m.