Soccer headed to NJCAA national championship semifinals
11.16.2016 | By Amanda Fenwick
TYLER, Texas – The San Jacinto College men’s soccer team opened pool play at the 2016 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Men’s Soccer National Championship with a loss to Parkland College, 2-1, but followed that up with a 3-0 victory over Cloud County Community College to advance to the national tournament semifinals.
“It was a tough first game because we dominated the whole match but made a few mistakes that Parkland was able to take advantage of,” said San Jacinto College Head Coach Ian Spooner, now in his ninth season overall and fifth as head coach. “But the guys did a great job coming out the next day with their backs against the wall and got the win when we needed one.”
Sophomore F/W Ricardo Ramos (London, England / Hammersmith Academy) scored San Jac’s lone goal against Parkland on Monday morning, an unassisted goal at the 53:00 mark. In goal, freshman keeper Paul Tyson (Liverpool, UK / Cardinal Heenan HS) had three saves on five shots on goal.
On Tuesday against No. 5 Cloud County Community College, ninth-ranked San Jac handed the T-Birds their first loss of the season, a 3-0 defeat. Heiko Leinweber, with an assist from Ramos, scored the first goal for HSan Jacinto College early in the first half at the 6:10 mark. San Jac then went up 2-0 with just five minutes left in the half on an unassisted goal from Ivan Rosales to capture the momentum heading into the break. From there, San Jac tightened up defensively, and scored its third and final goal by Leinweber with three minutes remaining in the second half.
The win against Cloud County gave San Jac the advantage in Pool D with three points and a +2 goal differential, advancing them to the semifinals on Friday. San Jac’s opponent is still to be determined.
When asked about how his team prepares for the national semifinal match, Spooner said, “It’s about us being prepared. We will go out and play our style of soccer and focus on what we have to do on the field.”
San Jacinto College (17-5-1) is back in the NJCAA national tournament for a fourth time in school history, and second for Spooner. The NJCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship is being played at the Pat Hartley Soccer Complex in Tyler, Texas, through Saturday, Nov. 19.
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, since 1961. As a fiscally sound institution, the College currently holds bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. San Jacinto College is a 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 finalist and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Approximately 30,000 students each semester benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success. The College offers seven areas of study that prepare a diverse body of students to transfer to a four-year college or university or enter the workforce with the skills needed to support the growing industries along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.