The Clackamas boys soccer coach expects his Cavaliers to contend for the title in a balanced TRL

by: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT - Senior all-league midfielder Ian Tarnovsky (10) hopes to lead Clackamas soccer team to success this fall.Clackamas High School boys soccer coach Anthony Trejo is hopeful that desire, strong team play and senior leadership will make up for a lack of experience in varsity-level play this fall.

The Cavaliers graduated 12 seniors off of last year’s history-making team, a team that finished with a record of 16-2-1, advance to the state semifinals and winning a league title for only the third time in school history. The last league titles were in 1992 and in 2003; the last appearances in a state semifinal were in 1992 and 2009.

Only two players who saw much varsity playing time return from last year’s team — senior midfielders Ian Tarnovsky and Tyler Noble.

Still, Trejo says he likes his charges’ chances this year.

“We did have a very strong team last year, but not all of it was because of the skill-level on the field. The heart, passion and determination they played with was equally important,” Trejo said. “I believe the 2013 Cavalier team has those same traits....

“This year’s team has to learn to play as a complete unit and not individual players on the pitch. If they do that, I truly feel they can compete with anyone in the state of Oregon.... We will have to maintain focus, come to compete every day, and believe in our teammates. If we can do that, we will have a successful season.”

Trejo said he believes the Three Rivers League will be very balanced this year and that the battle for supremacy will be a dogfight, with his youthful Cavaliers among the contenders.

The Cavalier are young and they may have as few as four seniors in their starting lineup.

Trejo has been going with sophomore Sam Toops at striker; seniors Tarnovsky, Noble and Kyle Jones in the midfield, along with juniors Junior Flores and Brendon Swazo; and senior James Watts and sophomores Braydon Simmons, Evan Lawrie and Alex Severson on defense.

Trejo says it’s a toss-up between senior Drew Lawrie and junior Stefan Lee in-goal.

The TRL did graduate a lot of talented athletes last year. Tarnovsky is the only returning player in the league who was a first-team all-star last year.

Canby senior Noah Park (defense/midfield) is the only returning player from the TRL’s second all-star team.

“Ian was a big piece of last year’s successful playoff team,” Trejo says. “Ian is a returning senior who is focused on bringing the same success from the past two seasons to 2013. As a center midfielder, Ian does a great job controlling play for our team. I have very big goals for Ian as an individual player and as a team leader.”

Senior midfielders Justin Siddall and Sean Martz are the only other players returning from last year’s Cavalier varsity roster.

Most of the players on this year’s team move up from a jayvee team that went 5-4-4 a year ago.

The Cavaliers have had their share of success this fall in preseason, posting wins over The Dalles (2-1) and Wilson (2-1), while giving Westview a run for its money in a 1-0 loss.

Tarnovsky and Flores scored in the win over Wilson, Tarnovsky on a free kick from the top of the 18 and Flores on a shot by Tarnovsky that was bobbled by the Wilson keeper.

Tarnovsky headed in a cross from Simmons for a goal in the 2-1 win over The Dalles; Martz put the winning ball in the net on a penalty kick.

The Cavaliers were to begin league play on Tuesday (Sept. 17), playing Canby on the road.

They entertain Lakeridge this Thursday and they play Lake Oswego on the road next Tuesday.

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