By Adam Roseberry
The Northeast Texas Community College men’s soccer team played their first two home games of the season against Coastal Bend College and LSU-Eunice.
As the new season gets underway, first year NTCC Head Coach JD Perales anticipates his team to be competitive this year.
“I’m hoping for a good season,” Perales said. “We have quite a bit of players that can really play in this competition.”
The Eagles struck quickly to begin Saturday’s match against the Coastal Bend Cougars as defender Taine Garner found the back of the net in the 14th minute to give NTCC a 1-0 lead. Coastal Bend weathered the blow, and scored in the 32nd minute to tie the contest.
From that point the two teams went back and forth, neither cracking the scoreboard. In the 81st minute Eagles forward David Imbert scored what would prove to be the winning goal for NTCC, putting the home team in front 2-1. The Cougars were unable to tie the contest, and the Eagles came away with their first victory of the season to improve to 1-1 on the year.
Three days earlier, the LSU-Eunice Bengals rolled into town for NTCC’s home opener. The Bengals started the match fast, taking a one to nothing lead with a penalty kick goal from midfielder Alexandre Badji in the 8th minute.
Badje’s penalty kick was the only goal scored in the first half by either team, due in part to excellent play from both goalkeepers.
Starting the second half fast, Badje struck again for LSU-Eunice, finding the back of the net for his second goal of the day in the 51st minute, a mere 6 minutes after halftime concluded.
Not to be outdone, Eagle’s team captain and starting forward Carlos Quinones answered in a big way, trimming the deficit by half as he knocked in a goal in the 60th minute.
However, Badje and the Bengals quickly drenched the Eagles newfound spark with Badje’s third goal of the day in the 62nd minute. The score gave Badje a hat trick for the game and the Bengals a two score lead. The Eagles couldn’t crack the scoreboard from that point on, and LSU-Eunice walked off the pitch with the victory.
Coach Perales post-game message to his team was simple.
“I just told them to keep playing hard”, Perales said. “On to the next one.”
Although the loss was bitter, Perales enjoyed the efforts of his captain, Quinones. Quinones constantly instructed and encouraged his teammates on the field. Quinones gave “110 percent” to his coach and fellow players.
“Ever since he was here as a freshman, he’s always shown those leadership capabilities and he always knows how to motivate the team and get them going,” said Perales. “He’s a good captain for us.”
The Eagles will hit the road for the next two weeks before returning home to take on the Jacksonville College Jaguars on September 17th.
For more information on the Eagles Men’s Soccer team, visit the official NTCC athletics website at ntcceagles.com.