KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Fourth year women's soccer Head Coach Brandon Porter leads an Owls squad coming off a promising 2017 season that saw the team post a 10-7 overall mark, and a school record of 8-3 in Cascade Conference play. That record was good enough for a 3rd place conference finish before being knocked out of the CCC Tournament 1-0, by eventual runners-up Northwest University.
The CCC Pre-Season Coaches' Poll has the Owls picked 5th this year with regular season and tournament champion Eastern Oregon earning the top spot. Coach Porter said, "I am very excited to see how the season goes for everyone. There are a number of schools that have loaded up with talent in the last couple of years and are ready to provide some very competitive matches and will hopefully earn some national recognition for the conference. Jacob Plocher at defending champion EOU is a great coach and his team will provide an enormous obstacle for all of us to get past."
"We really want to focus on retaining our identity as a blue collar and tough team, and add exciting pieces to our system that complement those deeply rooted qualities," says Coach Porter. "Personally, I think we have an underrated NAIA conference. There are obviously the heavy hitters such as Eastern Oregon, Rocky Mountain, Corban, Carroll, and Southern Oregon. But there are many programs that have gotten markedly better in a short amount of time, of which I believe would include us. Our third place finish in 2017, and huge wins against teams such as Rocky Mountain, Corban, Southern Oregon, and Carroll, all of whom have been perennial conference favorites, have hopefully shifted our own perspective about where we believe we belong in this conference. We worked a lot in the off season on our attack and really encouraging dynamic, efficient, and frankly, fun patterns and combinations. All teams evolve over time and coaches must adapt to the players they have and the skillsets they possess. But this group has a great understanding about what we currently want our product on the field to look like on both sides of the ball and they had a great deal of success with it this past spring season. I think fans and opponents are going to see a vastly different Oregon Tech team this season in terms of keeping the ball and going forward. But I can say they are, and certainly will continue to be, a very tough and gritty group."
The Owls will return four all conference players, led by 1st Team selection and Senior Cassidy Gosvener (Vacaville, CA). Other CCC All Conference returners include Senior Forward Emily Hillestad (Eugene, OR), Junior Midfielder Hailey Satyna (Scotts Mills, OR), and Junior Defender Taylee Miyamura (Mililani, HI). "This group has been through a lot together, especially the junior and senior class, and that experience will be extremely valuable as we continue to push for a conference championship. We obviously return the vast majority of our lineup, including our top three goal scorers and a backline that were all starters last season, which as coaches is certainly something we appreciate and don't take for granted. But most importantly, this group knows how to battle and compete and get results either at home or on the road, which as we know is crucial towards success at any level of college soccer."
Some new faces that Coach Porter thinks may be able to step in and push the returners include junior transfer forward Haley Janky (Rogue CC/North Medford HS, NWAC All Star), midfielder Amanda Seward (Molalla HS, 2nd Team All-State OSAA 4A), and defender/forward Lily Lavine (Auburn Mountain HS, WA, Two-time 1st Team All NPSL Olympic League). "All eight of our incomers bring valuable assets to our program," says Coach Porter. "They will have to come in physically fit and mentally prepared for the rigors of college soccer, but we are confident that our environment will bring out their innate competitive nature in all of them and allow their talent to complement the group and enhance our system."
The Lady Owls will open up this Friday, August 10th with scrimmages against Lane CC and Yakima Valley at 11:00am and 5:00pm in Eugene. The Owls will then host Rogue Community College and College of the Redwoods on Saturday, August 18th as part of a set of doubleheader games paired with the Oregon Tech men's team.
After a full non-conference schedule against Southern Oregon, Linfield, Sierra Nevada, William Jessup, UC Merced, and Menlo, the Lady Owls will open up CCC play at home against College of Idaho and Rocky Mountain on September 14th and 15th.
2018 CCC Women's Soccer Coaches' Preseason Poll
Press release from Oregon Tech Sports Information.