Men's Soccer Team Finishes Third Nationally


What a difference a few seconds can make. With the score deadlocked 1-1 in the Nov. 21 national semifinal game between MCCC and San Jacinto College, San Jacinto scored with just 28 seconds remaining. And the Vikings' hopes for a national title were quashed. Mercer was trailing 1-0 at halftime, but evened the score with a goal by freshman forward Amit Abudmad midway through the second half. Mercer had a chance to go ahead, but missed a penalty kick. According to Head Coach Charlie Inverso, who had been hoping to bring home Mercer's ninth NJCAA Division I title, the Vikings dominated the game but were unable to find the goal in the critical minutes as the clock wound down.

Men's soccer team before leaving for the
NJCAA tournament in Arizona

In the previous day's quarterfinal against CCBC-Essex (MD), the Vikings cruised to a 4-1 victory with goals from Abudmad, who put Mercer on the scoreboard with a penalty kick at the 13:00 mark, followed by a goal from midfielder Frank Tweneboa and two from forward Luke Stedmond, who was assisted on both of his goals by midfielder Rob Cabrera. Mercer outshot CCBC-Essex 15-3. Mercer's 3-2 loss to Essex in late September was the team's only regular season defeat, so the victory was especially satisfying.

Mercer finished the tournament by playing for third place, beating Garden City (KS) 5-4 on Nov. 23. Luke Stedmond scored twice, and forward David Brown and midfielders Roy Vissers and Ido Legity each added a goal. This was the ninth consecutive year that the Vikings have participated in the national tournament.

Getting to the nationals was a focused, well-balanced effort by the team as a whole. Going into the post-season with a record of 15-1, the Vikings won their Region 19 final against Essex CC (NJ) 6-1 on Nov. 1. Vissers had four goals, with Abudmad and Stedmond adding two. Vissers, who totaled 20 goals during the regular season, was named the Offensive Player of the Game and Chuck Svenson was named Defensive Player. The win marked Mercer's eighth straight regional title.

The men continued their impressive post-season performance with two decisive wins during the Northeast District Tournament, held at Mercer Nov. 7-9. First, Mercer defeated Massasoit CC 5-1 in the semifinal round with three goals by Cabrera and additional goals by Abudmad and Legity. The following day the Vikings won a hard fought match against Bryant & Stratton by a score of 2-0. Abudmad scored in the first half and then added another goal with just two minutes left in the game.

Coach Inverso, now in his 23rd season with the Vikings, is proud of his team. With eight freshmen playing key roles, the team gelled quickly and made significant improvements during the course of the season. With 420 victories under his belt, Inverso has surpassed the legendary Pete Sorber of St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley, and currently has the second best soccer record in NJCAA Division 1 history. The Vikings end their season 20-2.

Directions to MCCC

Return to Sports News