For the fifth time in program history, the Tyler Junior College Apache Ladies are national soccer champions.

TJC defeated Salt Lake (Utah) 2-0 on Tuesday at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans, Georgia, to capture the NJCAA Division I Women’s National Soccer Tournament championship.

It is back-to-back titles for the Apache Ladies after also winning in 2019. The 2020 tourney was not played due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tyler finishes the season at 18-0 and it is the Apache Ladies’ 26th consecutive win, dating back to Oct. 22, 2019.

Mukarama Abdulai scored both goals for TJC, the first coming at 32:55 in the first half. The goal came on an assist from Natalie Martinez.

Then at 86:12, Abdulai scored again. This time it was unassisted.

Ayana Aoyagi was in goal for the clean sheet, making seven saves.

TJC had 21 shots to Salt Lake’s nine. The Bruins finish their season at 15-2-1.

Jacqueline Wiebe (2), Hitomi Yamaue (2), Heidi Mueller (1), Skylar Parker (1) and Alexia Moreira (1) had shots on goal.

Midfielders were Kristen Prior, Mady Hatch, Moira VanDerPutt, Mueller, Martinez, Moreira and Candela Velasquz. Defenders were Wiebe, Isabel Kopp, Yamaue, Kailegh Minehart and Meghan Romines. Forwars were Abdulai, Parker and Kerry Lee. Rocio Fernandez played left back.

The Apache Ladies, all under Corey Rose, have won five nationals titles — 2009, 2011, 2017, 2019 and 2021. TJC has finished second three times — 2010, 2016 and 2018. Tyler has appeared in 10 national tournaments.

It is also the fourth national championship in the spring for TJC as women’s soccer joins men’s and women’s tennis and baseball. It is also the 66th national title in school history.

Along with head coach Rose, Kati Tamanaha is his assistant coach.

Members of the national champions are: Mukarama Abdulai (So., forward, Tamale, Ghana); Viki Adam (So., midfielder, Gyongyos, Hungary); Ayana Aoyagi (So., goalkeeper, Brisbane, Australia); Rocio Fernandez (Fr., left back, Madrid, Spain); Mady Hatch (Fr., midfielder, Hurricane, Utah); Isabel Kopp (So., defender/midfielder, Haarlem, Netherlands); Kerry Lee (Fr., forward, Austin); Natalie Martinez (So., midfielder, Perry, Iowa); Kailegh Minehart (So., defender/midfielder, Tyler; Alexia Moreira (So., midfielder, Jacksonville); Heidi Mueller (So., midfielder, Auerbach, Germany); Skylar Parker (Fr., forward, Katy); Kristen Prior (Fr., midfielder, Tumut, Australia); Meghan Romines (Fr., defender/midfielder, Tyler); Mariana Sabaj (Fr., midfielder/defender, Houston), Iva Trifunovic (Fr., defender/forward, Obrenovac, Serbia); Moira VanDerPutt (Fr., midfielder, Amsterdam, Netherlands); Demi VanStappershoef (So., defender, Venray, Netherlands); Candela Velasquez (Fr., midfielder, Oviedo, Spain); Gabrielle Wiebe (Fr., defender, Tyler); Jacqueline Wiebe (Fr., defender/forward, Tyler); Daniella Wilken (Fr., goalkeeper, Herning, Denmark), Grace Woodby (Fr., goalkeeper, Paris) and Hitomi Yamaue (So., defender, Okayama, Japan).


NJCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Tournament

Blanchard Woods Park

Evans, Ga.


Tyler 7, Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.) 1

Salt Lake (Utah) 4, Butler (Kan.) 0

Eastern Florida State 9, Kansas City Kansas 1

Snow (Utah) 2, Monroe (N.Y). 0


Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.) 0, Indian Hills (Iowa) 0, 2OT

Seminola State (Okla.) 2, Butler (Kan.) 1

Laramie County (Wyo.) 3, Kansas City Kansas 0

Iowa Western 3, Monroe (N.Y.) 0


Tyler 6, Indian Hills (Iowa) 0

Seminole State (Okla.) 3, Salt Lake (Utah) 3, 2OT

Eastern Florida State 4, Laramie County (Wyo.) 1

Iowa Western 0, Snow (Utah) 0, 2OT

Monday’s Semifinals

No. 1 Tyler 4, No. 4 Snow (Utah) 0

No. 2 Salt Lake (Utah) 1, No. Eastern Florida State 0

Tuesday’s Championship

No. 1 Tyler 2, No. 2 Salt Lake (Utah) 0



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Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.