Scorpions men’s soccer club gains experience at national tourney - Brownsville Herald: Education

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Scorpions men’s soccer club gains experience at national tourney

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Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 8:15 pm

As the whistle blew to signal the end of the consolation bracket quarterfinals match of the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) National Soccer Championship between Texas Southmost College and Iowa State University, the Scorpions men’s soccer club walked off the field determined to return next year.

“The players left everything on the field and I’m very proud of what they accomplished this season, and we’re grateful for all the support we have received from the TSC Board of Trustees, TSC President Rodríguez and our entire community,” said Mario Zamora, TSC Scorpions soccer club head coach. “We improved in a lot of aspects compared to the first two matches of the tournament. We learned from our mistakes. It was a great experience for the team and we learned what we need to do to prepare for next season.”

TSC’s run to their first-ever national tournament in only their second season participating in NIRSA is unprecedented.

The Scorpions won the Texas Collegiate Soccer League Developmental Conference title in 2018 with an undefeated record to earn admission to the South Conference. This year TSC remained undefeated and won the South Conference championship, defeating top-caliber teams such as Texas State University, Incarnate Word University and Trinity University, to qualify to the regional tournament.

The Scorpions won a national tournament bid after defeating Southern Methodist University and Texas Tech University at the NIRSA Region IV South Tournament.

Among the top 10 ranked teams in Region IV for the majority of the regular season, TSC earned the No. 2 ranking after winning the regional tournament. TSC was the only community college among the top 24 teams in the country at the national tournament.

According to NIRSA, no community college has participated in the championship division of the national tournament since 2007.

In the national tournament consolation bracket quarterfinals, TSC rallied from an early 1-nil deficit against Iowa State to tie the match in the second half. However, the Cyclones scored later in the half to defeat the Scorpions 2-1 and dash the Valley squad’s chances from advancing to the semifinals.

“We learned from our mistakes in the first two games and we played way better, but came up short by a goal,” said Jesus Garcia, TSC defender and former Brownsville Hanna standout. “For our first time ever playing in this tournament we learned a lot, like the soccer style played around the nation that will definitely help the program be better prepared in the future.”

The Scorpions lost their two first-round matches of the national tournament to Florida State University and Cal Poly, both teams with several national tournament appearances.

“The scores might fool some people, but those that saw the games know TSC gave the other teams a scare by scoring first in almost every game,” said Garcia. “Now they know who we are.”

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