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The Voice of the Black Community
Charlotte 49ers defender Kyla Clark wants chance to advance
Senior eyes another postseason run
Published Thursday, October 19, 2017 4:00 pm
by Herbert L. White

Charlotte 49ers defender/forward scored her first career goal on Sept. 8, a game-winner against Virginia Commonwealth.

Kyla Clark is hungry.

The Charlotte 49ers senior wants another shot at a postseason soccer win with a team that’s in the hunt for the Conference USA regular season title. It’s already been a season of first for Clark, a defender/forward who scored her first career goal – a game-winner against Virginia Commonwealth in a 3-2 result on Sept. 8.

Clark, a co-captain who has played in 14 games with three starts, is on pace for her most productive season in terms of matches played with Charlotte, which is 9-5-1, 4-2-1 in CUSA. In an interview with The Post, she talked about her role, senior leadership and making another run at the postseason.

Responses are edited for brevity.

• On making adjustments between starting and coming off the bench:

“My role this year has been changing. I’ve started a couple of games, I’ve [come] into a couple of games, but I just try to be ready whenever I’m called upon, and then when I’m not in the game encourage my teammates.”   

• What it takes to earn the respect of teammates who named her co-captain:

“I just found a way to lead off the field as well as on the field,” she said. “I think it’s important to lead in both aspects and still get the team encouraged when I’m not on the field and try to lead in other ways other than just strictly starting or strictly being on the field all the time.”

• Why seniors like Clark and All-America Martha Thomas take responsibility to set expectations for younger players:

“We definitely want to leave the team with a high standard, a great culture since we’ve gotten here. I think we’ve helped to make this culture better. We’ve turned  the team around since our sophomore year  – we had a bit of a bumpy ride there – but we’ve gotten the team where we want it and want to keep moving forward, so it’s important to players like Martha and I to leave the team with high standards and going in the right direction.”

• Compare the 2017 49ers to the 2016 squad:

“I think last year’s team was good and this year’s team is great. I feel like we’re united together. The freshmen that came in, they’ve meshed well with us, so they’re great additions. Now we’re building more of a family bond, and it’s great.”

On surpassing last season’s results, which included the C-USA tournament title:

“You always want more. You want to win the tournament again, you want to make it past the first round of the NCAA. I feel like that’s how you become a good team. You can’t get complacent and say, we won it last year, that’s good enough. That’s never good enough. There’s always something more to be achieved.”      



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