The Apache Ladies were playing Hill College, but they definitely had Georgia on their mind.
The Apaches were in Louisiana, but had thoughts of Kansas.
While they were dreaming of a trip to nationals it is now a reality as both Tyler Junior College teams earned bids to the big soccer showcase.
Tyler native Jacqueline Weibe and Mukarama Abdulai each scored two goals as the Apache Ladies defeated Hill College, 4-0, on Tuesday to capture the South District Championship at Pat Hartley Field, clinching a berth in the NJCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Tournament. The national tournament is scheduled for June 3-8 in Evans, Georgia.
In Eunice, Louisiana, the Apaches scored a 2-0 win over LSU-Eunice for the Gulf South District Championship and a berth in the NJCAA Division I Men’s National Tournament. The tournament is June 5-10 at Stryker Complex in Wichita, Kansas. It is 12th consecutive national tournament appearance for Coach Steve Clements and his TJC squad.
Goalkeeper Aidan Leak made seven saves for the Apaches, including stopping a penalty kick in the 70th minute.
TJC took a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute as Jonathan Martinez scored off an assist from Ralph Mangandoza. In the 60th minute, Marc Tirado found the back of the net. The assist was by Mawia Haroun.
WOMENCorey Rose, the only coach in Apache Ladies history, has now led Tyler Junior College to nine national tournaments, including four national titles.
TJC is the defending national champion when the Apache Ladies won in 2019 when the tourney was held in Melbourne, Florida. The 2020 tourney was not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic and thus the competition is in the spring this year.
“This never gets old,” Rose said. “This why we keep (coaching).”
Abdulai scored the first goals of the game — at 16-minutes (Wiebe assist) and 30 minutes (Natalie Martinez assist).
Then it was Wiebe’s turn to score goals and Abdulai had both assists. Weibe scored at 36 minutes and then a minute later.
Daniella Wilken (1 save) and Ayana Aoyagi (4 saves) shared goalkeeping duties to get the clean sheet.
TJC improves to 14-0, while the Lady Rebels fall to 10-3.
MENCoach Steve Clements has led the Apaches to six national championships and two second-place finishes.
This is TJC’s 16th national tournament appearances with 12 under Clements.
“The whole team played well,” Clements said. “This is a tough place to play and they have a very good team. The team has come together.”
TJC improves to 10-3-2, while the Bengals fall to 10-3-1.