ROSEVILLE — The regular-season success has been plentiful, which is putting things mildly.
Over the past few seasons, Clawson High’s soccer program has been simply dominant in the Macomb Area Conference, winning at least 10 games in each of the past three years, including two division crowns.
What’s been elusive, however, is that ticket beyond the district and into the regional round.
“It’s been a while,” coach Jared Kullman said.
A year ago, the Trojans came as close as possible without moving on, suffering a loss to eventual state champ Detroit Country Day in the district final.
The loss ended the season with an 18-1-1 overall record, not bad after a 16-3-1 campaign in 2010 and 15-1-2 mark in 2009. Those seasons ended earlier in the district tourney.
“It’s a big deal for all of us,” sophomore Nathan Cote said about this year’s playoff. Clawson is in the Division 3 district at Country Day. “We feel like we’re a team ready to be part of taking that next step and moving onto the regional.”
It’s one thing to say it, but Cote and company are backing it up with their play — again.
At press time, Clawson was 9-1-1 overall and tied atop the MAC Gold with a 6-0-1 record following a Sept. 20 1-1 tie with Roseville High, also 6-0-1.
The lone loss came to Country Day earlier in the season.
“These guys have committed to this season since last year ended,” said Kullman, who’s in his fourth year with the team. “They did all the offseason stuff, did all the workouts and everything else to get ready. They’ve experienced a lot of success, and with the core of this team back, they set some big goals for this year.”
Tyler Jugon has paced the offense, scoring a team-best 18 goals, while keeper Alex Maison has allowed four goals all year, pitching six shutouts.
“The chemistry of this team is great,” Maison said. “Most of us have been here for three or four years, so we all know each other. There’s a great sense of team here.”
As for what that team could do before the year is out.
“Just keep winning,” he said with a smile. “Nothing’s going to be easy, but this is a year we feel like something special is going on here.”
“We’ve started to get that recognition from other teams and other coaches,” Kullman said. “Now it’s about taking that recognition to the next step.”