By Adam Roseberry
The Northeast Texas Community College Men’s soccer team returned home and held their own in a close loss to the fifth ranked team in the nation, Angelina, on Wednesday Sept. 21 after a decisive win over Jacksonville College the week before.
Despite only garnering a 3-4 record thus far, the Eagles are playing their best soccer, and head coach JD Perales is well aware of it.
“The results don’t show how we’ve been playing throughout the season,” Perales said. “It’s just a bump in the road, we’ll get back in form.”
The Angelina College Roadrunners came into the game against NTCC with plenty of momentum, boasting an 6-0-1 record and a 5th overall ranking in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association, NJCAA, poll.
Angelina scored the only goal of the game in the first half as forward Juan Lopez found the back of the net for the Roadrunners. It was a defensive battle from there, as the two sides failed to crack the scoreboard for the remainder of the contest. Eagles goalkeeper Enzo Camps finished the contest with four saves. The Roadrunners managed to make it out of town without adding a loss to their record, but the Eagles gave them all they could handle in a tight, hard-fought 1-0 game.
Several days earlier, NTCC returned to their home pitch to take on the Jacksonville College Jaguars. The Eagles struck quickly to begin the game as right-wing Jack Thomas scored in the 15th minute to give NTCC the early advantage.
The Jaguars struck back as Jacksonville’s Jorge Gonzalez tied the match at 1 all with a score in the 35th minute. Neither team could press the issue for the remainder of the half, and the score was knotted up heading into the break.
After the break, the Eagles took the lead for good in the 55th minute with a team goal that ricocheted off a Jacksonville defender into the net. The Eagles added on to their lead with two goals from left-wing David Imbert in the 63rd and 67th minutes. Imbert also assisted forward Yanis Lakhlifi in the 87th minute to make the final score 5-1.
Perales credits teamwork for the Eagles decisive victory.
“It was a great team performance, proud of the guys, proud of how they did, on to the next one,” Perales said.
Perales said he isn’t concerned with the results of the games. He is focused on the team’s performance as a whole.
“I’m not worried about results,” Perales said. “Me personally, I don’t care how anybody does. We just gotta play how we play and take it one game at a time.”
For more on the NTCC Men’s soccer team, visit the official website of NTCC Athletics at ntcceagles.com