On a cold Monday night, a large crowd made up of fans, soccer teams and coaches gathered at Pat Hartley Field as the Tyler Junior College soccer team earned its first win of the national tournament.
The Apaches defeated the Community College of Baltimore County-Essex (Md.) 2-1 in the nightcap of the opening day of the NJCAA Men’s Soccer National Tournament.
Other results on Monday were: Iowa Western 2, Ranger 0; San Jacinto 4, Cloud County (Kan.) 2; and Yavapai (Ariz.) tied Burlington County (N.J.), 1-1, but the Arizona team won in penalty kicks 4-3 for the extra.
Games continue today: Game 5: Lewis & Clark (Ill.) vs. Ranger, 10 a.m.; Game 6: Cincinnati State (Ohio) vs. Cloud County, 12:30 p.m.; Game 7: Eastern Florida vs. Burlington County, 3 p.m.; and Game 8: ASA (N.Y.) vs. Baltimore County-Essex, 5:30 p.m.
Pool play also continues on Wednesday.
A tournament pass is $30. Day passes are $10 (adults), $3 (students with ID) and children under 14 get in free.
Game 4: TJC-CCBC
Both teams were aggressive out of the gate with several fouls being called, but TJC was first on the board.
In the 20th minute, freshman forward Nazeem Bartman (Cape Town, South Africa) sent the ball to the back of the net from 20 yards out to put the Apaches ahead. That would be the last goal of the half leading to the dramatic second half.
Coming out of halftime, the crowd was very vocal as penalties were called, including several yellow cards against CCBC.
A foul in the 62nd minute gave TJC another chance to score but the free kick was wide to the left side of the net. With strong defense on the pitch, scoring chances were not easy to come by as both goalies made several leaping grabs to prevent goals. It looked as though TJC would keep the score where it was until CCBC tied the match late in the game.
Freshman forward Shawn Geary, of Baltimore, struck in the 84th minute to tie the game and silence the TJC bench.
However, the tides quickly turned. One minute later, a foul was called on CCBC which led to a free kick for TJC. Sophomore midfielder Fernando Castellanos, of Raleigh, N.C., made the free kick sending the Apaches’ sideline into a frenzy. TJC held on to take the match 2-1.
The Apaches, seeded No. 2, improves to 17-2. They next play Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. against ASA (N.Y.). CCBC-Essex, seeded No. 11 with a 10-5-4 mark, play again today at 5:30 p.m. against ASA.
TJC had 17 shots, while the Knights had 11. The Apaches had a lead of 10-1 in corner kicks.
Tyler goalkeeper Leopoldo Castillo, a freshman from Houston, made nine saves. Jacob Ossie made 10 saves for the Knights.
Apache coach Steve Clements has the squad to three of the last four national titles.
Game 4: TJC-CCBC
Game 1: Iowa Western-Ranger
Iowa Western improved to 22-0 on the season with the 2-0 victory over the Rangers (8-10-1).
After a scoreless first half, the Reivers got on the board in the 62nd minute as Elias Hatungimana scored off an assist from Dayvin Palmer. About 23 minutes later, Hatungimana found the net again for the 2-0 score. Fazio Alihodzic had the assist.
Will Lukowski was in goal for the Reivers, while Raul Padilla made six saves for the Rangers.
Game 2: San Jacinto-Cloud County
The Coyotes (19-1) jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead as Jose Seoane and Call Casarez scored goals. O’Neal had the first assist, while Seoane made the second.
The Thunderbirds pulled within 2-1 on an unassisted goal by Daniel Sanchez.
San Jac went back on top 3-1 one minute later as Seoane scored again off a David Perez assist.
But Cloud County (13-10) would not go away and Gefte Blanc netted a goal at the 80-minute mark.
The Coyotes put the game away when Pablo Vasquez scored at the 77-minute mark.
Game 3: Yavapai-Burlington County
In the tightest contest of the day, No. 4 seed Yavapai and No. 9 Burlington County fought to the end.
The Barons (15-3-2) from New Jersey took the lead at the 22:52 mark of the first half as Kevin Cueva had an unassisted goal.
It looked as if it would hold up, but at 88:56, the Roughriders (19-2-4) got the equalizer as Milan Popovic scored.
Then it was penalty kick time as Yavapai outdueled the Barons, 4-3.
Both goalkeepers were outstanding with the Roughriders’ Bradley Trella making five saves, while BC’s Andrew Morris made three.
NJCAA National Soccer Tournament
Pat Hartley Field, TJC
Game 1: Iowa Western 2, Ranger (Texas) 0
Game 2: San Jacinto (Texas) 4, Cloud County (Kan.) 2
Game 3: Yavapai (Ariz.) 1, Burlington County (N.J.) 1, Yavapai wins on PKs, 4-3
Game 4: Tyler 2, Baltimore County-Essex (Md.) 1
Game 5: Lewis & Clark (Ill.) vs. Ranger, 10 a.m.
Game 6: Cincinnati State (Ohio) vs. Cloud County, 12:30 p.m.
Game 7: Eastern Florida vs. Burlington County, 3 p.m.
Game 8: ASA (N.Y.) vs. BC-Essex, 5:30 p.m.
Game 9: Iowa Western vs, Lewis & Clark, 10 a.m.
Game 10: San Jacinto vs. Cincinnati State, 12:30 p.m.
Game 11: Yavapai vs. Eastern Florida, 3 p.m.
Game 12: Tyler vs. ASA, 5:30 p.m.
Game 13: Highest remaining seed vs. lower remaining seed, 5 p.m.
Game 14: Second highest remaining seed vs. second lowest remaining seed, 7 p.m.
Game 15: Championship, 6 p.m.