Soccer All-Americans Aburmad and Kenny
On Hunt for National Treasures
N.J. - Amit Aburmad and Kasey Kenny came to Mercer County Community
College from places far apart, yet they arrived at the school sharing
the same goals and values. Both want to have the same opportunity
in November - a shot at winning a national championship - yet they'd
be chasing their dreams, once again, in places far apart.
MCCC's two All-American
soccer players from 2008 are trying to spark their respective teams
to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I soccer
championships. MCCC will host the men's tournament from November
18-22, while the women's tournament will be held over the same dates
in Tyler, Texas.
The two sophomores
are similar all the way down to their love of music. Aburmad plays
the guitar, while Kenny jokes, "Any Michael Jackson music,
I am dusting off the table and doing a moonwalk across." But
it's their inner drive and ability to motivate teammates that bond
them. Both perceive the opportunities in front of their teams as
motivating factors more than pressure.
this kind of pressure is positive," Aburmad, a midfielder,
says. "When you play soccer, basketball, whatever you do, as
an athlete, as a sportsman, you need something to push you to be
to push ourselves every game. When we play whatever team, you look
in their eyes and you see how they want to beat us. We are one of
the best teams in the country and we have so many championships
(eight national titles). It's good that we need to come out and
work hard and be ready."
Kenny, a forward,
adds, "We've been playing some teams that we've been beating
8-0, 7-0. I don't want my team to get too used to that because when
the hard games come we need to step it up."
When the post
season rolls around, both Vikings squads will follow the lead of
these top scorers, who have valuable experience from last year's
successes. Coach Charlie Inverso's men's soccer squad qualified
for the national tournament for the eighth straight season in 2008,
while coach Jodie Ricciardi's women's soccer squad won the Region
19 title, but fell one victory short of reaching the national tournament
in the District G title game. Kenny says reaching that game and
then scoring in it was the highlight of her freshman season, but
considers the overtime goal that Monroe Community College scored
to win 3-2 as the season's lasting image. Hence, that game has motivated
Kenny throughout her sophomore season.
there are going to be rough games, there's going to be tough times,"
Kenny says. "But striving through those tough times is what's going
to make us and build our character. That's what I try to remind teammates
all the time. It's these times, where we're sweating and we're sprinting
every day, that's what's going to make us better on the field."
5'5" Kenny is a native of Staten Island, N.Y. The Liberal Arts major
eventually wants to be a soccer coach, and she has a good start as the
emotional leader of this year's team. Last year, she scored 29 goals while
earning 2008 NJCAA Division I All-American honors and is ahead of that
pace this season.
who had 19 goals in his All-American season as a freshman, is as likely
to set up a teammate for a goal as he is scoring one. A quick, 5'6"
player, his playing style sparks others. The Business major has followed
the path of some past MCCC players who came from Israel to play for Inverso.
His parents, Michael and Lior Aburmad, plan to fly from their native Tel
Aviv to attend the national tournament at MCCC.
is one of the men's soccer players who often admires the most recent national
championship ring (2004) that adorns Coach Inverso's hand. "Last
year, I made All-American and I had a good season," Aburmad says.
"This year, my goal is to win the ring."
information about the NJCAA men's soccer tournament is available here.
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