Cougar of the Week: 10/30

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Oscar Zapata | Photo: Jonathan Edelman

Oscar Zapata | Photo: Jonathan Edelman

Oscar Zapata (‘15) has been on a scoring tear lately; he is fifth in goals this season in the NEWMAC and is leading Clark in goals as they make a late season push for the playoffs.

Scarlet: You have scored seven goals so far this October. Have you been approaching the game differently this month?

Zapata: Lately, I’ve been trying to just have fun and use it as a stress reliever, and that has been working for me.

 

Scarlet: How much do you think this change in mentality has contributed to your uptick in goals?

Zapata: Soccer is definitely about teamwork, so in order for me to score goals, the whole team has do their job.

 

Scarlet: Is the team playing differently lately?

Zapata: The team has been getting to a point where everyone is more cohesive, and we have better team chemistry. So that has definitely been a huge factor.

 

Scarlet: When did it become apparent to you that the team was improving?

Zapata: Through the mid-season, around that game against Coast Guard. They were undefeated, and we beat them.

 

Scarlet: How did that change the confidence level of the team?

Zapata: We noticed that even though our conference is really hard… we’re capable of winning if we focus and put our best effort forward.

 

Scarlet: The teams has to defeat Wheaton on Saturday to make the playoffs. How confident are you in the team to get this win?

Zapata: Well we have definitely nothing to lose, and I believe on a good day… we’re capable of beating every team in the conference. We just have to believe in ourselves and work hard for ninety minutes.

 

Scarlet: What will it mean for you to finish your college career with a playoff appearance?

Zapata: It will be the best way for me to finish my Clark career, because as you probably know, our conference is really tough, and we haven’t been able to make the playoffs in a while. So this year is one of the years that we’re really close to making it, so getting that chance to make the playoffs will be awesome.

 

Scarlet: What are you going to need to do individually to help ensure Clark has a playoff berth?

Zapata: Keep scoring (laughs).

Zapata scored two more goals against Framingham State, who Clark beat 3-0. He is now at nine goals for the season. Clark hopes to continue this success into their game against Wheaton on Saturday, November 1 in which they will be fighting for a playoff spot.