Cougars place second in tough tournament
Sept. 19, 2011 — The Lassen College men’s soccer team took second place at the Allan Hancock Tournament in Santa Maria, Calif., after battling it out with some of California’s toughest teams.
Ben Wade, head coach for the Cougars, said so far the team has played five games and have earned a record of 2-1-2.
“These guys have played some of the best teams in the state (and) could very well be 0-5 because of the teams we’ve played and all of them (have been) on the road,” said Wade.
The team took on Rio Hondo Friday, Sept. 9, in the first game of the tournament and tied it 2-2.
“We played down two men (and) we were really deserving to win that game,” said Wade. “We were ahead 1-0, then it was 1-1. We were ahead 2-1, then they tied it up 2-2. It was a great game.”
Saturday, Sept. 10, the team took on Taft College, whom Wade said always has the best record in the state.
“I just said, ‘You know what guys? We’re the team to beat. Forget about all these good teams, we’re the team to beat.’ And I really felt like they took that and they really put it (in their hearts),” said Wade. “We beat Taft, 2-0. Taft does not get beat, I’ll just tell you that.”
Wade said it was a great game, which resulted in Taft’s first loss of the season.
“Then we played Allan Hancock (and) lost 2-0,” said Wade. “It was a very close game, could’ve gone either way. Allan Hancock had lost both games, and it was kind of like they were (mad) and they wanted to let it out on us.”
Wade said the three teams were evenly matched and the Cougars came in and “really put it to those teams.”
He said his team is at difficult odds with the rest of the teams they will face in both preseason and regular season.
“It’s been good to watch the team grow because I told them the disadvantage we have against every team in California is they have been playing together, some of them their whole lives,” said Wade. “We just started playing together, and so for us to be doing this, we’re only going to get better.”
Wade said this year’s team is already showing plenty of promise.
“We’re tying with teams that last year we weren’t even in their class,” said Wade. “It’s great to see.”
Wade said there is a high possibility the Cougars will have a winning season.
“They’re all getting along, playing like a team, acting like a team, behaving themselves off the field,” said Wade. “(It’s just a) great team. Even when my friends ask me about the team, they’re just like ‘Man, you have a different attitude about this team than you did last year,’ and it’s true. I feel really good about this team, and I like coaching the guys. It’s not a struggle to coach (this team).”
The Cougars’ first home appearance of the season is scheduled at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 4, at Susanville Ranch Park against Butte College.
The first home game also marks the first game in the Golden Valley Conference, in which the Cougars placed number one last year.