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2011 NJCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship Kicks Off Thursday in Arizona
This year’s eight team field is very familiar as five teams heading to Arizona were qualifiers for the 2010 tournament that took place in Tyler, Texas.
Fans not able to make the trip to sunny Arizona will be able to watch each game of the tournament LIVE on NJCAA TV (www.njcaatv.ihigh.com) thanks to tournament host PVCC and iHigh.com.
The complete tournament bracket as well as updates, photos and other information can be accessed throughout the event at www.pvc.maricopa.edu/njcaa/.
Here is a quick glance at this year’s tournament qualifiers (click herefor tournament bracket and schedule)……
Southeast District - #1 Darton College (Ga.) earned its second straight berth to the national tournament via a 3-2 win over Spartanburg Methodist College (S.C.) in the SE District title game. Prior to their District title, the Cavs (17-1) defeated rival Georgia Perimeter 4-3 in double overtime to win the Region 17 Championship. The Cavs have been ranked either first or second in the NJCAA DI Men’s Soccer Poll since late September and are the top seed in the tournament. Diego Ramos leads the team and ranks in the top 10 nationally with 64 (17 goals, 30 assists) offensive points on the year. He leads the DI ranks with 30 assists. Jowayne Laidley is second on the club with 11 goals while keeper Carlos Catano has 77 saves and a 0.94 GAA. The top ranked Cavs face #8 Pima in the first round.
South District - #2 Tyler Junior College (Texas) will try to become the first program to win three consecutive men’s soccer championships since the NJCAA split the sport into two divisions in 1994. A 5-0 shutout win over Mississippi Gulf Coast won TJC its third straight district championship. The Apaches (17-1-2) also notched their third straight Region 14 Championship a few weeks ago with a 1-0 victory over San Jacinto-South (Texas). This year’s team is a balanced one with plenty of scoring threats on the roster. Sammy Deing’s 10 goals and three assists (23 points) leads the team. Anis Abdulgasem is just behind hime with eight goals and five assists (21 points). TJC faces College of Southern Maryland in the first round, which marks their seventh appearance in the national tournament.
Plains District – #3 Cloud County Community College (Kan.) heads to Arizona as the Plains District Champion after defeating Western Texas 2-0 in the district title game. The Thunderbirds (20-1-3) won the Region 6 Championship in dominating fashion, outscoring opponents 14-1 en route the title. CCCC will be making its first appearance in the tournament and is led by German Solano Barreiro who ranks third nationally in offense (78 point – 28 goals, 14 assists) and Luke Huggett who ranks ninth (62 points – 29 goals, 4 assists). Neil O’Sullivan has defended the net very well in 2011, boasting 41 saves and a 0.46 GAA. The Thunderbirds first round contest will be against Lincoln College (Ill.).
Great Lakes District - #4 Iowa Western Community College (18-1-1) heads to the national tournament for the second straight season after winning the Great Lakes District with a 2-1 overtime victory of College of DuPage (Ill.) on Nov. 5th. The Reivers look to rebound after a 0-2 showing at last year’s national tourney. IWCC relies heavily on goalkeeper Antonio Banos who ranks among the top in the nation with a 0.77 GAA. Ignacio Mateos leads the team with 33 offensive points (9 goals, 15 assists) while Dayvin Palmer is the team’s top goal scorer with 12. IWCC’s first round opponent is NE District champ Monroe (N.Y.).
Northeast District - #5 Monroe College (N.Y.) is yet another team returning to the national tournament. Last year the Mustangs entered the tournament with an undefeated record as the No. 2 seed and finished fourth after falling to Barton County (Kan.) in the third place contest. The 2011 Mustangs head to Arizona with a 13-1 overall record after defeating Burlington (N.J.) 3-0 in the Northeast District title game on Nov. 6th. Monroe boasts three players that have over 20 offensive points. Karamba Janneh leads the team with 27 points (11 goals, 5 assists), Anthony Asante is second with 24 (9 goals, 6 assists) and Marino Peixoto has 20 points (8 goals, 4 assists). Monroe faces Iowa Western in the first round.
Central District - #6 Lincoln College (Ill.) won the Central District for the second year in a row with a 2-1 win over MCC – Maple Woods (Mo.) on Nov. 5th. The Lynx (18-3) won the consolation final at last year’s tourney, but are looking for a better finish in Arizona this year. Edwin Moalosi is the main offensive threat for Lincoln, ranking 11th in the NJCAA with 56 points (21 goals, 14 assists). Ruben Gaytan is second on the club with 24 points (8 goals, 8 assists). Mario Alfaro stands between the posts for the Lynx with a 0.85 GAA. Lincoln takes on Cloud County (Kan.) in first round action.
North Central District - #7 College of Southern Maryland earned their ticket to Arizona by upsetting former No. 1 Schoolcraft College (Ohio) 5-4 in penalty kicks to win the North Central District. Schoolcraft entered the game with a perfect 22-0 record. CSM advances to the national tournament for the just the second time in program history (19993) with a 12-3-3 mark and will play two-time defending national champion Tyler in the first round. Samson Defeugaing leads the Hawks with nine goals and five assists on the season, while keeper Dameon Hayden ranks 20th in the nation with a 0.68 GAA.
West District - #8 Pima Community College (Ariz.)upset the likely pre-season favorite in the West District, Yavapai (Ariz.) in the Region 1 Championship 2-0 on Oct. 29th and then preceded to win the district title with victories over Northwest (Wyo.) and North Idaho. The Aztecs have plenty of offensive weapons as three players have 20 or more offensive points on the season. Jann Nash leads the team in goals scored (9) while Nicholas Peppe has the most assists (10) to go along with seven goals. Pima, who will be making its third overall appearance in the tournament, faces a tough challenge in the first round as they take on top-ranked Darton.
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