This October has seen a full range of emotion for the Titan men’s soccer team.

After an easy 2-0 victory over the winless Rogue Ospreys in Grants Pass on Oct. 3, Lane lost a heartbreaking home match against first place Southwestern Oregon, felled by a single second-half goal on Oct. 6.

Heading into Lane’s match against the Portland Panthers on Oct. 14, the two teams were tied for third place – and the final playoff spot – in the Northwest Athletic Conference South region. A win against Portland would put the Titans in a strong position to clinch a spot in the playoffs.

Torch staff
Cian Cronin, middle forward for the Titans, weaves around defenders to make a run for the goal.

Instead, the Titans wrestled with the Panthers in a brutal 0-0 stalemate in Hillsboro Stadium. The match featured a goalkeeping clinic – Panthers’ goalie Isaac Aguilar saved seven of Lane’s 13 shots – and a flurry of penalties – six players left the match with yellow cards.

Frustrations simmered toward the end of the draw, with both teams receiving penalty bookings after the 75th minute for hard fouls. In the 88th minute, a yellow card on Lane defender Santos Martinez set the Panthers up for a last-minute opportunity to score. Enrique Aguilar nearly dashed the Titans’ hopes to make the NWAC playoffs, but a save by goalkeeper Jacob Scorse preserved the draw and the Titans’ season.

Midfielder Cian Cronin led the charge for the Titans, taking five shots – two on goal – in his 55 minutes on the pitch. Forwards Jesus Velazco and Callum Speed also added two shots each, though no Titan could find the back of the net.

With two games remaining in the 2018 regular season, Lane is tenuously hanging on to the final playoff position in the South region. Because of their better overall record, the Titans own the tiebreaker over Portland, but the Clark Penguins are just two points behind the two teams and could sneak into the playoffs with a strong finish.

Torch Staff
Middle Forward Braidon Fletcher makes a shot on goal against Southwest Oregon Community College on October 6, 2018.

Lane and Clark face off on Oct. 20 in Vancouver, a game that will likely decide the fate of the two teams’ postseason chances. The Titans close out their regular season campaign at home on Oct. 24 against first-place Chemeketa.