Freshman suffers serious concussion during Syracuse soccer game

Saturday , April 19, 2014 - 9:24 AM

Ryan Comer, Standard-Examiner staff

SYRACUSE – Syracuse freshman Mat Clark will miss the rest of the boys soccer season after suffering a concussion during Thursday’s 5-4 loss at Fremont, coach Ray Parkhurst said Friday.

With Syracuse trailing 4-3 in the 60th minute, Clark – who plays attacking midfielder – went up for a 50-50 ball and landed on his back, jolting his head back and into the ground, according to Parkhurst.

Clark was placed on a stretcher and taken to McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden. He was initially non-responsive after the fall.

“I could just hear people talking,” Clark said. “I couldn’t understand or hear what they were saying, and I couldn’t open my eyes.”

Clark has no recollection of what happened in the moments immediately preceding the fall.

CT scans of the brain and neck were negative and Clark was allowed to leave after just a couple hours, but Clark said as of Friday night he was still suffering from headaches.

Despite just being a freshman, Clark had impressed Parkhurst with his play.

“When he gets the ball, his ability to find the right run or find the right pass – and the quality of that pass – that’s not easily teachable,” Parkhurst said. “You’ve got to have a good soccer IQ to be that kind of player.”

Based on what Parkhurst saw from his players following the injury, though, he believes they’ll respond well to the challenge of playing without Clark the rest of the season.

“After the game restarted they were like, ‘Let’s go get them, let’s go get them, let’s go get them for Mat,’” Parkhurst said. “One of his biggest cheerleaders was Kyle Coffee. I’ve never seen a determination on a kid’s face like I did Kyle Coffee and you know the level of soccer he’s played. He’s about seen it all. I think they’ll respond really well. I know they’ll miss him, but I know they’ll respond.”

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