Athlete of the Week: Clarke Fox ’16, Soccer

Devan Schulte , Senior Writer

After a tough start to league play this season for the men’s soccer team, the reigning Patriot League Champions secured a crucial three points in Patriot League rankings against Navy on Oct. 17, with goalkeeper Clarke Fox ’16 leading a strong defensive effort. Fox had nine saves in the 1-0 match, preventing the Midshipmen from tying up the game after an own goal put the Orange and Blue up by one 16 minutes into the first half.

Fox has split time with classmate Mike Lansing ’16 throughout the season, yet he boasts an impressive record for the matches in which he has seen time. With four wins, one tie, and only one loss under his belt in the 2015 season, Fox boasts two shut outs and 31 saves. However, Fox is unsatisfied with these current statistics, as he expects much more from the remaining games this year.

“With the Patriot League as competitive as it is this year, it will be a battle to secure one of the limited spots in the PL Tournament. If we continue to bring 100 percent energy and intensity to practice and grow with each day, I’m confident we will qualify. The ultimate goal for me is to hoist another Patriot League trophy with my teammates,” Fox said. 

Fox had an extremely successful junior campaign, leading to his 2015 Preseason All-Team selection. Most of his action came in the important games of the 2014 season, as he saw the bulk of his playing time in crucial post-season match-ups. After helping to lead the team to a Patriot League Championship against Boston University, Fox also displayed an impressive effort in the team’s sole NCAA tournament game against UNC Wilmington with a season high of eight saves. His junior season statistics include 14 starts, a  .783 save percentage, and a 0.88 goals-against average, earning him recognition as one of the Patriot League’s top keepers.

In his prior two seasons, Fox worked primarily in the background to improve his skills and technique. He was one of the league’s top backup goalkeepers and made strong impressions with the time he earned on the field. Having played multiple roles on the team since his freshman year, Fox recognizes how much he has grown since his first season as a Bison.

“I’ve grown a lot mentally. Coming in as a freshman I don’t think I was prepared for how demanding it can be to balance schoolwork and athletics, and it manifested itself in my play. Over the years, I’ve been able to strike a balance to find success in both arenas thanks to the great insight I’ve received from our coaches and past leaders on the team,” Fox said. 

Fox is now one of the team’s leaders that younger players continuously look up to. His fluctuating playing time over the years has allowed him to learn and develop into a player that many of the team’s 26 players can relate to and admire, enabling him to make a large impact on the entire program.

“My best advice would be to the underclassmen that can grow discouraged from a lack of playing time. I didn’t see much playing time my freshman and sophomore years, but stayed optimistic and continued to work hard. So, I just try to remind them to stay resilient. There are no consistencies in the game of soccer. You never know when you are going to be called on to step up,” Fox said. 

Fox has been one of those key players called to step up this season, and he does not plan on backing down from the challenge anytime soon. The goalkeeper has only a few weeks left in his senior campaign, so he recognizes how quickly the time may pass. Fox is determined to elongate the season as far into the brisk days of November as possible.

“After our slow start in Patriot League play, I think most of the conference has written us off as title contenders. However, that’s when we play at our best—when no one expects us to,” Fox said. 

 

(Visited 198 times, 1 visits today)