“Ten, nine, eight, seven…”
The Tyler Junior College Apache men’s soccer team and their cheering fans roared as they watched the seconds tick away on Nov. 21 at Pat Hartley Field, waiting to storm the field and embrace each other to start a party they hoped would never end. As leaves twisted in the wind and the sun set, parents gave praise to their sons for what they accomplished with shouts of “brilliant” and “absolutely brilliant,” while Head Coach Steve Clements watched from the sideline looking like a mere spectator, reflecting and enjoying his third national title.
“As Coach (Clements) put it last year, it’s twice as good,” Assistant Head Coach Chris Handy said, explaining the feelings of winning another title.
The TJC Apaches dominated the title game, like they’ve done for the past two sea- sons. Sophomore forward Dom Dwyer added two goals to his resume giving him 37 for the season. Sophomore defender Martin Seiler converted a penalty kick in the 25th minute giving TJC a three-goal halftime lead. The Apaches strengthened their lead with two more goals scored by Jack Bennett and Kyle Nicholls in the second half. Cincinnati fought for pride scoring their only goal with 7:57 left to play.
The Apaches were crowned national champs for the second time in two years and during those two years have been on a 42- game stretch unbeaten, only being scored on a total of 23 times. The second title was no surprise, but the national trophy was not the only hardware being handed out. The Apaches’ not so secret weapon, Dom Dwyer, finished with the Bob Zifchak Most Valuable Player Award and ac- companied teammates Brenton Grif- fiths and Andre Grandt on the All- Tournament Team. Coach Clements completed the cycle by earning the Coach of the Tournament Award.
“We are sort of a family now,” freshman midfielder Tom McCarthy said. “It’s going to be sad to see some of them go.”
But 500 miles north in Topeka, Kansas there were not cheers, no shouts of “brilliant” in celebration and the seconds ticking away seemed like hammers repeatedly shattering the Lady Apaches’ dreams of another na- tional soccer title.
“Most definitely, any time you get to the National Championship your season is a success,” Head Coach Corey Rose said.
The Lady Apaches outplayed their opponents the whole season thundering into the title game with a record of 17-0, beating their com- petition by an average of six goals per game.
AwinevadedtheLadyApaches with a 1-0 loss to a 24-0 Paradise Valley Community College Pumas team. The Lady
Apaches did not give up af- ter PVCC’s Alyssa Flores scored a ball that was bobbled by the Lady Apaches top goal keeper, Beatrice Soto, with 13:33 left in the first half. In the second half, TJC pressured PVCC’s de-
fense sending a barrage of shots and crosses with none hitting the back of the net.
But the Lady Apaches didn’t leave empty handed. Two of the Lady Apaches’ attackers were awarded with All-Tournament honors: Claudia Saucedo and Lauren Emmerson, both All-Tournament forwards. Brittany Wispell left her mark as an All-Tournament defender. For more soccer, turn to page 14.