Sprts News Sports News
Calendar Latest Sports News Athletic Home www.mccc.edu

Men’s Soccer Team Is Simply “Great”


West Windsor, N.J. – His first season as head coach for men’s soccer was, quite simply, “great,” according to Widmarc Tigana Dalce.

In a way, it was a tale of two seasons, as the Vikings ended September with a 2-5 record.  “Six players were injured early in the season,” Dalce said. In October, the team won six and tied one of its last seven games.  They recaptured the Region 19 title and advanced to the Northeast District tournament. They finished the season 10-8-1.

“We had a very good turnaround. I was not worried,” Dalce said.  “The coaching staff had faith in our players and we worked very hard with the team.”

MCCC Vikings after recapturing the Region 19 title
As injured players got back on the field, the squad began to make steady progress. Leading the players were sophomore captains Sascha Haecker, Trevor Lamb and Kelvin Flores.

By October the Vikings were clearly putting other teams on notice, starting with a 4-3 win against CCBC on Oct. 3, followed by a 2-0 win over Herkimer County College (NY) on Oct. 6, a previously undefeated team that was the NJCAA’s top-ranked Division III team.

The Vikings entered the post-season as the no. 2 seed after Burlington. By then, Dalce was seeing action on the field that he knew would lead to success. “These players were willing to listen and be coached.  I am here to teach.  We started with the basics and I didn’t complicate it.  They need to defend, they need to pass, they need to get their teammates involved.  Dribbling by yourself at this level is not going to work,” he said.

His players responded well to the message.  “They believed in their teammates, they defended as a group, and they played as a team.”  That, says Dalce, translated into wins.

Facing Essex CC in the semifinal on Oct. 23, the Vikings notched an impressive 5-0 win.  Goals were scored by defender Sascha Haecker, Trevor Lamb, Carlos Torres, Sergio Ojeda-Bermeo and Obinna Iloka.

Next up was the Region 19 final against Burlington, the third consecutive season the Vikings faced the Barons for the title. (BCC defeated MCCC 3-2 last year and Mercer won 1-0 in 2010.)  In September, Burlington had beaten the Vikings 1-0, so they may not have realized what they were up against with a revitalized Mercer squad.

“We knew we were the better team and we showed them quickly that we meant business,” Dalce said. “It was an intense game.”  Torres had two goals and Kelvin Flores added a third. Haecker was named the Region 19 MVP.  Flores was named the region’s second most valuable player.

Sophomore defender Sascha Haecker was named to the NJCAA All-American First Team.

Players named to the All-Region 19 First Team included Haecker, Flores, Ben Asor, Mbeki Johnson and goalie Ruben Morales. Haecker and Flores were also named to the All Garden State Athletic Conference Division I Team. Haecker was named an NJCAA First Team All-American.

Dalce also recognized the contributions of sophomore midfielder Lido Guzman, who really stepped up his game later in the season, as well as Gustavo Vega, Mbeki Johnson, Nana Osei and brothers Ben and Dan Asor. Morales shared goalkeeping duties with John Richards.  “Both were outstanding.  It was great to have two goalies to count on,” Dalce observed.

In the Northeast District loss against Monroe CC (Bronx, NY) on Nov. 3, Dalce makes no excuses, but notes it was an away game played on the Saturday following Hurricane Sandy, a huge distraction for those still without power.  “Monroe scored two goals on mistakes we made in the first half.  But in the second half we showed them how to play soccer. We just couldn’t find the net,” he said.

Still, Coach Dalce couldn’t be prouder of his team and their season. “It’s not how you start the season; it’s how you finish it. Our players know we were a lot better than the record indicates,” he said. 

“I thank the whole team for that, including my assistant coaches.  All four of us worked together and each coach had a special role in our success.” Dalce was assisted by John Pietrowski, Scott Loesser, and Jorge Astudillo as goalkeeper coach. Dalce also acknowledged Athletics Director John Simone and Athletic Trainer Lisa Camillone for their help. 

“And thanks to our fans, who supported the team in good and bad times,” Dalce concluded.

Return to Men's Soccer

Return to Athletics Home Page

Return to Sports News