After successful seasons by the men’s and women’s soccer teams, resulting in National Championships for both, the demand to repeat is mounting in 2010.
“There’s going to be a little bit more pressure,” Assistant Coach for the men’s soccer team Derek Tolcott said. “It’s going to be harder because everyone is gunning for us.” Referring to the giant target placed on their backs after the acquisition of the National Trophy.
Men’s Assistant Coach Chris Handy said the same sentiment about being the team to beat in this upcoming season, but felt that the team’s biggest obstacle was going to be getting over last year’s success.
“We can’t try and be last year’s team,” Handy said. “We got to be TJC Soccer 2010 as opposed to trying to remake what we did last year.”
In 2009, the TJC men’s soccer team ripped off a record of 21-0-0, posting scores of 12-1 and 10-0 at the expense of Coastal Bend College; all to cap the season off with a national title.
But sophomore Midfielder Jack Bennet said he is over the achievements of 2009 and is looking to the future.
“Hitting out tackles and being manly about the game,” Bennet said in reference to their strategy on how to win in this new season.
“We’re not as athletic, but we’re a lot more technical this year,” sophomore Midfielder Kyle Nicholls said, explaining the difference between last year’s team and the new Apache squad.
And with a new team comes new faces and perspective on the game.
“The intensity we play at,” Freshman Midfielder Tom McCarthy said about the difference between playing in England and playing for an American college.
“One of our goals is to beat last year record,” Lady Apaches Head Coach Corey Rose said.
Not to be outshined by the men, the women soccer team also went on a rampage through the 2009 season. They started their domination by beating Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa 6 to 0 and Hinds Community College 6 to 2 on their way to a 19-0-1 finish and bring home the hardware.
“To stay united as a team,” sophomore Goalkeeper Beatrice Soto said. Stating the fact that the only way this team is getting back to the top is by working hard, but most importantly working together.
Soto went on to say that the talent level of this team is across the broad and that everyone will be able to come and do their job.
“We’re playing against older women, not necessarily kids anymore.” freshman Midfielder April Goodson said describing the biggest difficulty for her in 2010.
“I think with our team and the new coaching staff we have, and the returning coaching staff and everyone’s desire and, well, to redo what we did last year; heck yes we’re in it to win it,” Soto said in response to whether the Lady Apaches can repeat this year.
The women are returning 7 starters and the men are bringing back 12 players from the championship teams, making this season ripe for the picking for TJC Soccer.
The men play at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 at Pat Hartley against Richland College and the women faceoff at 5 p.m. Sept 24 at Pat Hartley versus Southwestern Illinois.