Soccer seeks fast start to 2013 campaign
08.07.2013 | By Amanda L. Booren
Men’s soccer seeks fast start to 2013 campaign
Media Contact: Amanda L. Booren
By: John Bechtle, for sanjacsports.com -- August 21, 2013
HOUSTON - As the 2013 men’s soccer season dawns Aug. 24-25, San Jacinto College sits at a respectable No. 17 in the preseason National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll.
San Jacinto College, coming off a solid regular season but a disappointing loss in the Region XIV tournament in 2012, knows there’s no way to go but up. Head coach Ian Spooner, armed with several big-time performers from last year’s squad and an encouraging group of freshmen players, is ready to get the season underway.
“We understand the rankings are based primarily on last season’s results,” said Spooner, now in his second season as the San Jacinto College head coach. “Being at 17 is certainly respectable, but we know it’s where you finish that matters. We feel like we have the potential to be a top-5 program, but you do that by proving it on the field.”
San Jacinto College will get a chance to do that beginning Aug. 24-25 with a two-game, season-opening trip to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston, Miss. In the three-team round robin mix, San Jac will first take on visiting Brevard Community College of Melbourne, Fla.
The first-year program is led by Oliver Twelvetrees, who for the previous seven seasons won more than 125 matches at NJCAA Division I power Barton College of Great Bend, Kan. In the tournament finale, San Jacinto College will go against host MGCCC, which missed the 2012 postseason while going 6-8-2, but is excited about the influx of 11 freshmen.
After roughly one solid week of training, San Jacinto College split a pair of scrimmage matches in preparation for the start of the regular season.
Spooner watched as his team defeated the University of Houston-Victoria, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics program, 2-0 in a home scrimmage Aug. 16.
The following evening, a leg-weary San Jac team was blanked 4-0 at the University of the Incarnate Word, a four-year Division I program in San Antonio.
“We had a nice win over UH-Victoria,” Spooner said. “The guys came out with a lot of energy and we were able to get the win. Freshman Carlos Ibarra (Houston / Dobie HS) scored a goal in the win. The defense was exceptional for San Jacinto College.
The following night against UIW, the results were strikingly different. “It was a tougher game against a Division I program, and we weren’t as sharp and didn’t play up to our capabilities,” Spooner said.
As for the opening weekend of the season, Spooner is excited to see how the team debuts. A standout group of sophomores includes forward Sito Seoane (Coruna, Spain / Nuestra Senora del Carmen) as well as defenders Ezequiel Amestoy (Asturias, Spain / IFS Asturen) and Pablo Vasquez (Madrid, Spain / El Burgo de las Rozas).
Michael Rich (Friendswood / Friendswood HS) is back in the nets after starting most of the team’s matches. Valued reserve keeper Miguel Alvarez (Chicago/ Centro Escolar Educando Aun Salvadoreno) is also in the fold.
The freshmen who have stood out to this point include Ibarra, O’Neal Moore (Houston / Alief Taylor HS), defender Ian Barbosa (Rio de Janeiro / Colégio Ícaro RJ) and midfielder/defender João Vitor Monteiro (Rio de Janeiro / Colégio Icaro).
“It’s a good mix of guys,” said Spooner, now in his fifth overall season at San Jacinto College, including three as an assistant. “We’ve had a good run of success, and we look to continue that. Getting off to a great start this weekend will help up start building something going forward.”
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.