By Adam Roseberry
The Northeast Texas community college men’s soccer team traveled to Lufkin, Texas to take on Angelina College in the first round of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) region 14 playoffs.
The Eagles came into the match riding high off a playoff clinching 5-1 victory over Paris Junior College just a week before. In that game, goalie Enzo Camps held PJC to one goal on seven shot attempts and had six saves. Five different Eagles scored goals in what was a must win game to keep their season alive.
Angelina College stood between the Eagles and a trip to the regional semifinals. Just a week prior, NTCC had traveled to Lufkin, and had come up just short to this same Roadrunners squad, 5-4 in double overtime. Eagles wing Jack Thomas had two goals and an assist in that contest, and fellow wing David Imbert had one goal and two assists.
In the regular season, Angelina had romped to a 15-3-1 record, and was ranked 6th in the country in the most recent NJCAA poll. By contrast, the Eagles went 6-11 in the regular season. However, with the recent close contest against Angelina, there was reason for hope of victory over the Roadrunners in the playoff game.
Unfortunately it was not to be as Angelina cruised to a 7-1 victory in the playoff match. Midfielder Carlos Quinones scored the only goal of the game for the Eagles. Roadrunners forward Juan Lopez scored three times for a hat trick and fellow forward Aldair Chaves added two goals of his own as the Roadrunners eliminated the Eagles, and ended their season.
The Roadrunners went on to lose in the regional finals to Tyler Junior College.
In Eagles head coach JD Perales first season on the job, the Eagles went 6-11 overall and 6-8 in conference play, an improvement on the previous season’s 4-12 overall record (4-10 in conference play).
The Eagles will look to improve and build upon the success they experienced next season.