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Men’s Soccer Team Wins Northeast District Title, Advances to National Tournament for First Time Since 2008

11/7/17


Mercer soccer team celebrates its Northeast District title.

One goal led the way to victory.

West Windsor, N.J. – The Mercer County Community College (MCCC) men’s soccer team just keeps on rolling.

The Vikings have returned to campus from the Northeast District Tournament as district champs and are headed to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I National Tournament.

The Vikings leave for Prescott, Ariz., on Saturday. The NJCAA Tournament will be hosted by Yavapai College from Nov. 13-17. Mercer enters the tournament as the 6th seed and are ranked 7th nationally.

After winning the Region 19 title Oct. 28, the men traveled to upstate New York Nov, 3 for the district round. On Saturday, the Vikings faced Massasoit Community College. Freshman Oshana Boothe scored in the 40th minute off an assist from Adir Versano and the half ended 1-0. Eleven minutes into the second half, freshman Eiichi Yamaguchi, assisted by Jonathan Ward, added another goal to make it 2-0, which was the final score. Erick Guimaraes Cavalcante was in goal for the Vikings.

The following day, Mercer faced Monroe (Bronx), which had won its Saturday game against Monroe (Rochester), the tournament's host. With the game remaining scoreless well into the second half, the intensity grew until Boothe finally found the net off an assist from Yamaguchi with just 11 minutes left. The Vikings won 1-0. Guimaraes Cavalcante got the win in goal for Mercer.

Going into the final, Mercer's record was 18-3-1 with a 15th ranking nationally. Monroe (Bronx) was 11-0-2 and was ranked 3rd nationally. Since the Northeast District is receiving two bids to the National Championship this year, both teams advance, but Mercer earns the higher seed in the 12-team tournament.

The Vikings, who have won eight national titles in their storied history, have not been to the National Tournament since 2008. This is the first trip to nationals under Head Coach Widmarc Dalce. 

Dalce is very pleased with his team's accomplishments. "It's a good feeling to have gotten this far and to be playing so well in the post-season. It's what our players have been working for and what we have dreamed of all year," he said,

Assistant coaches are Haris Abawi, Milton Suah and John Pietrowski.

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