Ellis makes it happen

11/12/2009 15:49

New coach, new team

Mike Partee

Issue date: 11/12/09 Section: Sports
 
Mackenzie Fegeles (#10) was one of only three returning players this season. LCC finished the regular season with a record of 5-5-3 and lost to second-ranked Columbia Basin in the first round of the NWAACC playoffs on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
Media Credit: JB Botwinick
Mackenzie Fegeles (#10) was one of only three returning players this season. LCC finished the regular season with a record of 5-5-3 and lost to second-ranked Columbia Basin in the first round of the NWAACC playoffs on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
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What could be the worst fear of a new women's soccer coach? How about having zero returning players to start the season?

That was first-year coach Dave Ellis's reality. He has since turned things around and made a solid team.

The Titans finished the regular season with a record of 5-5-3 and lost to 2nd ranked Columbia Basin 2-0 in the first round of the NWAACC playoffs.

"Although we have been strong defensively, we lost out on a lot of points early in the season as we tried to refine our chemistry and our dynamics," Ellis said. "We have managed to play at an equal level with every team that has been across from us."

LCC suffered a severe double-blow with the loss of goalkeeper Marah Baker to a broken foot in the Oct. 17 match against Chemeketa Community College. She was replaced with veteran fielder Hope Gunter. There were strong hopes that Baker would return in time to finish out the season. Those hopes didn't come to pass.

Despite the support of the men's baseball team that traveled to Pasco, Wash. to watch the playoff game, LCC was shut out of its NWAAC championship dreams.

"Injuries and illness caught up to us," Ellis said. "We hit the crossbar and each post. Not our day against the defending NWAACC champs."

Ellis has been recruiting heavily with the idea of building a repeating championship squad. His goal is a simple one - win and keep winning.