Tyler Junior College played another Texas team in Mississippi and now the soccer squad is headed to Virginia.
TJC scored a 2-0 win over rival San Jacinto-South on Sunday in the South District Soccer Tournament championship in Picayune, Mississippi to earn a trip to the NJCAA Men’s National Soccer Tournament, joining the women’s team which earned a berth on Saturday.
The Apaches (16-3) are the defending national champion and have earned their seventh straight trip to nationals.
This year’s event is set for Nov. 16-21 at Smith River Soccer Complex in Axton, Virginia. It is the Apaches’ 11th national tournament appearance.
“We didn’t mind at all traveling to Mississippi if it meant getting a chance to go to nationals,” laughed TJC coach Steve Clements, who has led the Apaches to four national titles.
“We played well and we had another shutout. I think we are playing as well as we have all season.”
TJC took a 1-0 in the 15th minute on a goal by Nestor Peralta, a sophomore from New Orleans. He scored off an assist from Brahan Gamarra, a sophomore from Atlanta.
The second goal came in the 69th minute as Brendan O’Connor, a sophomore from Brandon, Florida. Ramario Thompson, a a sophomore from Santa Cruz, Jamaica.
Junior Santos, a sophomore from New Orleans, played all 90 minutes in goal. It was the Apaches’ 10th shutout of the season.
On Saturday, TJC defeated Hinds (Mississippi) 3-0 to advance to the tournament final. San Jacinto earned a finals berth with a 2-1 win over Pearl River (Mississippi). The Coyotes finish their season at 12-6-1.