MELBOURNE, Fla. - Making its first NJCAA Women’s Division I Soccer Championship tournament appearance since 2012 Tyler Junior College shook off the nerves on Monday to defeat Moraine Valley (Illinois) Community College 4-0.
The victory on the tournament’s first day at the Titan Soccer Complex on Eastern Florida’s Melbourne Campus improved second-seeded Tyler’s record to 17-3-1.
Eleventh-seeded Moraine dropped to 15-2.
Tyler next plays 2 p.m. (CST) Wednesday against No. 7 seed and defending national champion Monroe College (New York).
Moraine plays at 2 p.m. Tuesday against Monroe.
Tyler, frustrated through the early going, broke through at the 23:55 when Jessica MacLeod (freshman midfielder, Yucaipa, California) scored on a breakaway after some mild Moraine pressure to make it 1-0.
Moraine keeper Kaylyn Egyarto left game at the 17:36 mark of the first half after being injured in a collision in the 18-yard box with Tyler’s Audresha Spates (sophomore defender, Brenham). She was replaced by midfielder/defender Lauren Regan.
Spates received a yellow card.
Tyler made it 2-0 when Sydney Tiiman (sophomore forward, Lindale) beat Regan with 4:08 to play in the first half.
Cooper Mullins (freshman forward, Weatherford) made it 3-0 with 33:10 left to play as Tyler owned the flow of play. Ten minutes later Riley MacLeod (freshman forward, Yucaipa, California) joined her sister in the scoring column to make it 4-0.
“They (Moraine) knew they needed to have a lot of numbers behind the ball,” said Tyler head coach Corey Rose whose Apaches won their most recent national title in 2011.
“They made us work but this isn’t the first time people tried to do that to us this year. The girls were starting to be a little frustrated. But when you add in the first time that these girls have been to a tournament, they were nervous. Once the nerves kind of died down I thought we did what we wanted to do.”
Tyler’s midfield, anchored by Rose’s daughter Kennedy, controlled the majority of the game.
“I figured we would, we have a pretty strong midfield,” Kennedy Rose said. “I was pretty confident the midfield would be as solid as we usually were.
“I think we came out confident but once we started playing we got a little frazzled. By the second half we settled down.”
Moraine head coach Al Palar had nothing but praise for his team.
“We knew it was going to be tough, we knew we were up against Tyler,” he said. “We knew we were up against it today. A lot of these girls aren’t used to playing such high competition.
“But to come out in the first 20, 30 minutes and just frustrate, we frustrated the heck out of them. Huge credit to us. Still extremely proud. Tomorrow’s another day for us.”
NJCAA Division I
Women’s National Soccer Tournament
Titan Soccer Complex
Hosted by Eastern Florida State
All Times CST
Game 1 - Butler (Kansas) 3, Schoolcraft (Michigan) 0
Game 2 - Iowa Central 4, Laramie County (Wyoming) 0
Game 3 - Tyler Junior College 4, Moraine Valley (Illinois) 0
Game 4 - Eastern Florida State 7, Spartanburg Methodist (South Carolina) 0
Game 5 - Schoolcraft (Michigan) vs. Darton State (Georgia), 9 a.m.
Game 6 - Laramie County (Wyoming) vs. Lewis & Clark (Illinois), 11:30 a.m.
Game 7 - Moraine Valley (Illinois) vs. Monroe (New York), 2 p.m.
Game 8 - Spartanburg Methodist (South Carolina) vs. Pima (Arizona), 4:30 p.m.
Game 9 - Darton State (Georgia) vs. Butler (Kansas), 9 a.m.
Game 10 - Lewis & Clark (Illinois) vs. Iowa Central, 11:30 a.m.
Game 11 - Monroe (New York) vs. Tyler Junior College, 2 p.m.
Game 12 - Pima (Arizona vs. Eastern Florida State, 4:30 p.m.
Game 13 - Semifinals, 4 p.m.
Game 14 - Semifinals, 7 p.m.
Game 15 - National Final, 6 p.m.