On the heels of accepting an official bid to participate in the 2012 USCAA National Tournament Nov. 1-3 in Asheville, N.C., the WVU Tech’s men’s soccer program broke several school records in a 12-1 rout of visiting Southern State Community College.
The Golden Bears initiated the scoring onslaught in the match’s fourth minute when Juan Suarez connected with Joe Jackson for the first goal. Eight minutes later, Suarez again connected with Jackson for the second goal. Freshman forward Dennis Furst then joined in the scoring off a cross by defender Jonathan Eske in the 16th minute.
With the next two goals, Rodridgo Manzanares broke and added to the Tech men’s single-season record for goals scored by an individual. Before halftime, Tech added a sixth goal when sophomore forward Braeden Collins crossed to Michael Powell, who blasted a shot to the back of the net.
Tech continued the pressure by adding six more goals in the second half, including five straight before SSCC’s Greg Roades tallied his squad’s lone score in the 81st minute. Providing second-half goals for Tech were Craig Mitchell, Furst (two), Jordan Brooksher, Borja and Jackson.
Suarez contributed three assists.
“Today, our team was just on their game. In the beginning of the season, we looked at this game as being one of the more challenging matches that we would encounter all year,” said coach Luis Cortell. “However, due to some injuries and recruitment barriers, SSCC was not as challenging as we had foreseen.
“Overall, everyone contributed today, and I am very thankful for all of our fans who came out to see today’s match.”
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“We are thrilled to be making Tech’s first appearance in an USCAA championship event,” Director of Athletics Frank Pergolizzi said in a press release late last week. “Our men’s soccer team has had a great season and is well deserving of this opportunity.”
The national tournament includes eight of the nation’s best programs. The tournament host, Warren Wilson, along with the Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) champion and Yankee Small College Conference (YSCC) champion, receive automatic bids. The other five bids are given to the top five remaining programs in the nation.
“I am very pleased to be able to represent WVU Tech at a national championship tournament,” said Tech coach Luis Cortell. “Since the first day of preseason workouts, our goal was to make it to the tournament.
“Our student-athletes have worked extremely hard to accomplish this feat, not only on the field but in the classroom as well. As a coach, I could not have asked for more mature, prepared and dedicated young men.”
The Bears’ road to a national championship begins when first-round action commences on Thursday., Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. at the John B. Lewis Complex in Asheville.