Texas College breaks ground on phase two of its rebuilding project on the soccer fields Saturday.
Karl Iracheta returns for his second season as head coach hoping to improve on last year when the Steers and Lady Steers combined for five wins in 30 matches.
Texas College plays host to Central Baptist (Ark.) in a doubleheader Saturday (women-3 p.m.; men-5 p.m.).
Iracheta took the reins last summer after longtime coach Demetrio Hernandez left to head up Wiley’s men and women’s soccer programs. The Steers finished 2-14 overall and 2-9 in the Red River Athletic Conference. The Lady Steers went 3-11 overall and 3-6 in the RRAC.
“I see this year as my first year,” Iracheta said. “Last year I started late so I had to work with what I had.”
Iracheta retained the majority of last year’s men’s roster and starts up with 30 players on the roster.
“I had more time to recruit, more time to plan,” Iracheta said. “That was the first thing. Last year it was tough because of the numbers I had was low. Mainly all the guys stayed.”
Key returnees for the Steers include Gerardo Iracheta (So., MF, Brownsville), Luis Macias (So., Forward, Laredo), Juan Montes (Jr., FW, Mission), Juan Trevino (Jr., DEF, Donna), Alfredo Troncoso (Sr., MF, Brownsville) and Kendor Vasquez (So. MF, Brownsville).
Montes and Troncoso both netted four goals last year to rank second on the team. Troncoso added three assists.
“I know the way the returning guys play,” Iracheta said of the men’s team. “They’re the structure of the team. We’re still trying to work our way up. We’ve got a lot of freshmen we’ve got to get involved in what we want.”
The women return quality as opposed to quantity.
Familiar faces such as Jessica Escobar (Jr., FW, Nacogdoches), Diana Martinez (Sr., GK, Longview), Idalia Ortiz (Jr., MF, Edinburg) and Karla Valles (Sr., MF, El Paso) headline the Lady Steers.
Freshman goalie Michelle De La Garza of Brownsville, the top goalkeeper in her high school district, highlights the newcomers.
Valles ranked second on the team last year with four goals.
“The roster is short so we’ll be looking at the same problems from last year,” Iracheta said of the women’s team. “The good thing is they have that experience and can relate to that.”
Texas College 2012 Soccer Schedule
Aug. 25Central Baptist 3/5
Aug. 29at LeTourneau6/8
Sept. 4at St. Thomas$ 5
Sept. 4at Prairie View# 7
Sept. 6 Mary Hardin Baylor# 4
Sept. 8at Belhaven$4
Sept. 14 at Ouachita Baptist 2/4
Sept. 15at Lyon3/5
Sept. 20at Southwest*1/3
Sept. 22at Texas Wesleyan* 5/7
Sept. 29SW Assemblies*1/3
Oct. 4UT Brownsville*1/3
Oct. 6Our Lady of the Lake*1/3
Oct. 11at LSU-Shreveport*1/3
Oct. 13at Northwood*1/3
Oct. 18St. Thomas*$1
Oct. 20at Wiley*1/3
Oct. 23at Centenary5/7
Oct. 27at Bacone*1/3
Oct. 31Southwest Christian1/3
Head Coach: Karl Iracheta. Assistant: Nestor Ramirez.
#—women only; $—men only; *—conference