Coyotes on track for national title

Left+to+right%3A+%28Bottom+row%29+Ezequ%C3%ADel+Amestoy%2C+Hector+Saldivar%2C+Alonso+Gallegos%2C+Jesse+Suarez-Castro%2C+Christ%C3%ADan+Cruz%2C+and+mascot+Cody+Coyote.+%28Top+row%29+San+Jacinto+College+South+Campus+Provost+Dr.+Brenda+Jones%3B+Stephen+Melchor%2C+Sito+Seoane%2C+Soccer+Head+Coach%2C+Ian+Spooner%3B+O%27Neal+Moore%2C+Pablo+Reyes.

Andrea Vasquez San Jacinto College Marketing, Public Relations, and Government Affairs Department

Left to right: (Bottom row) Ezequíel Amestoy, Hector Saldivar, Alonso Gallegos, Jesse Suarez-Castro, Christían Cruz, and mascot Cody Coyote. (Top row) San Jacinto College South Campus Provost Dr. Brenda Jones; Stephen Melchor, Sito Seoane, Soccer Head Coach, Ian Spooner; O'Neal Moore, Pablo Reyes.

 

San Jacinto College soccer continued to fuel hope for a national title after beating Cincinnati State 3-0 Nov. 20 to advance to the semifinal round of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Men’s Soccer National Championship.

As of press time, the Coyotes 3-0 win over Cincinnati State gave them the number three seed to take on number two seed Tyler College Nov. 22. A win over Tyler would send the Coyotes to the national championship game against either Iowa Western College, or Yavapai College Nov. 23.

Head Coach Ian Spooner said he was confident early on the team could make it to nationals.

“I always believed we could make it to the national tourney from the beginning of the season,” Spooner said. “But, I knew we had what it takes about half way through the season. I told them we just have to take it one game at a time.”

San Jac has enjoyed solid teams in recent years because of their international recruiting efforts that bring in great young talent from around the world.

This season, the team pushed forward with the play of sophomore Sito Seoane from Coruna, Spain and a stout San Jac defense.

Last season, Seoane received several distinctions including NJCAA All-American second-team, NJCAA All-Region, NSCAA All-Region first-team, and San Jacinto College Newcomer of the Year.

The sophomore scored 29 goals, good for first in the nation and racked up 14 assists, sixth in that category.

Meanwhile, the team scored an average of 4.1 goals a game and allowed only 1.9 goals this season showing the defense played a major role in garnering victories. This allowed the team to have some off-days on offense and ride their defense to victory.

“They are a family,” Spooner said. “I try to get them to buy into what I want from them; which they did. But, it takes a lot of hard work and discipline. The guys have to be one solid unit playing for each other; which they have done.”

In his first full season as head coach, Spooner looked like a seasoned veteran dropping only one game all year. He took over last season as interim head coach making an impression that landed him the permanent position during the summer.

Although born in Houston, Spooner played college ball at Western Michigan University. He was the Coyote’s goalkeeper’s coach for the past six seasons but midway through last season, he was appointed interim head coach.

The Coyotes hope to top their last national appearance where they clinched the runner-up title in 2008. This is the team’s sixth trip to the national tournament.