On Friday, Nov. 4 2011, the undefeated 21-0 Lady Apaches and the 17-1-2 Men’s Apache soccer teams dominated Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in the District E Championship to earn their third consecutive appearance, in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament.
The Lady Apaches where cruising to victory with a 3-0 lead with 14 minutes remaining in the game, but MSGCC refused to give up with a goal from Taylor Walker with 10 minutes remaining. However, Cayla Cortez responded with a goal within the final four minutes of the game to solidify their 4-1victory over MSGCC.
The men’s team was in control from the start of the game. They did not allow MSGCC to score a single goal. In the second half of the game with, one minute remaining, Iko De Oliveira gave Jose France an assist to give the Apaches a 5-0 victory over MSGCC.
“This is a solid young team,” said Steve Clements, head coach of the Men’s soccer team. “This group has done a great job of working hard to get to this point.”
For the third consecutive time the men’s team have won the District E Championship. They are currently ranked third in the nation.
“We have a lot of experience on our side, and we have a lot of depth. Our depth makes up for any short comings that we do have,” said Chris Handy, men’s assistant coach.
The men’s soccer team has proven they never give up when faced with adversity.
“We have twenty-four players, and all twenty-four of them could be the starters,” said Ashley Reece, sophomore center midfielder from Manchester.
This team has a lot of returning sophomores, who are hungry for another national championship.
“We’ve won the last two years, I think we have a good enough squad to win it again,” said Iko De Oliveira.
As for the women’s team, depth is hardly an issue at all, and they plan on using their depth as an effective weapon in the national championship tournament.
For the third consecutive year in a row they have also won the District E Championship and are now ranked first in the nation.
“This is just a special group of girls. We are the best team in the country,” said Corey Rose, head coach of the women’s soccer team.
Rose continued to explain that there are not many teams that have appeared in the National Tournament three years in a row. He also emphasized that this team was only established four years ago.
“We are the only team that has a clean record,” said sophomore center attacking midfielder Lauren Emmerson from Scotland.
This team works together and always unites together during the games.
“This team never gives up, we pick each other up,” said Cayla Cortez, sophomore outside midfielder from Dallas.
A lot of the team members were filled with joy after they won their last game.
“I almost cried,” said Jahmela Williams, freshman forward from Las Vegas and also the leading scorer with 21 goals and two assists.
The men and women are going into this next game confident that they will return from nationals victorious.
“We are going to win it all–trust me,” said the freshman attack midfielder Victor France from Brazil.
The Lady Apaches will face the 17-6 Waubonsee Community College Lady Chiefs at Viera Regional Park in Melbourne, Fla. on Nov. 17.
The men’s team will face the 12-3-3 College of Southern Maryland Hawks at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Ariz. on Nov. 17.