Men’s soccer off to a solid start

Like a wall, the Trojan defense held off City College´s offensive onslaught on Sept. 7. (Neill Herbert)

Like a wall, the Trojan defense held off City College´s offensive onslaught on Sept. 7. (Neill Herbert)

The Skyline men’s soccer team got their season off to a winning start with a record of 3-1-1 through five games.

On the weekend of Aug. 28-29, the Trojans won the four-game 49er Invitational Tournament hosted by Yuba City College. After losing to the host by a score 0-1 in the first game, Skyline went on a roll and defeated Lassen College 6-2, Yuba City College 4-2, and then clinched the tournament title with a 3-1 win over Taft College.

According to head coach Daniel Link, 26 players were able to travel to the tournament and all had a chance to play. One of the reasons everyone was used was the demanding tournament schedule-two 90-minute games per day in 104-degree heat.

Back in the much more temperate climate of Skyline College, the team battled to a 0-0 tie with City College of San Francisco on Sept. 7.

There were some tense moments in the game with both teams having opportunities to score but never putting the ball in the goal. City College’s best chance came when one of their players was fouled inside the penalty box as regulation time expired. On the resulting penalty kick, Skyline goalkeeper Chris King’s diving guess went the wrong way, but the shot went wide after all.

According to Link, the four defensive backs that played against City College were not his usual starters, but the held their opponents off valiantly.

“The guys that played in the back did a helluva job,” said Link. “We held the other team to two shots all game, but we still couldn’t win. We have what it takes but we’re inconsistent.”

Link also pointed out that it has been hard to build consistency due to the construction that the athletic facilities have been subject to.

“The biggest thing is the field. We’ve been [practicing] on half a field, and so that’s why we’re inconsistent.”

Skyline’s men’s and women’s soccer teams have been sharing the only field not undergoing renovation. As a result, they have been playing practice games with fewer players than the standard 11 per team.

“When you play 11 v. 11, it changes things,” said Link.

However, transitioning from practices to games may be getting easier for the Trojans. The new artificial turf practice field opened on Sept. 8. Thanks to the newly revamped field, both the men’s and women’s team will now be able to use a more accommodating practice space.