There is only
one happy ending for MCCC soccer teams in the Northeast District
Soccer Tournament, played at the MCCC Soccer Complex Nov. 7-9. The
Mercer men will advance to the National Junior College Athletic
Association (NJCAA) tournament in Phoenix, AZ, later this month,
while the women lost a hard-fought contest in overtime. But all
of Mercer's soccer players can take pride in their performance during
the tournament and throughout the season.
The men had two decisive wins over the weekend and will return to
the nationals for the ninth consecutive year. First, Mercer defeated
Massasoit CC of 5-1 on Nov. 8 in the semifinal round. Sophomore
midfielder Rob Cabrera had a day to remember, scoring three goals
and adding an assist; goals were also scored by Amit Abudmad and
On Nov. 9, Mercer won a tough match against Bryant & Stratton
by a score of 2-0. (Bryant & Stratton advanced to the final
after defeating Essex CC 1-0 in the other semifinal game the previous
day). Abudmad, a freshman forward, scored in the first half and
then added another goal with just two minutes left in the game.
Under head coach Charlie Inverso, now in his 23rd season, the Vikings'
record to date is 17-2.
On the women's side, Mercer faced Monroe Community College (NY)
in the final, after a bye in the semifinal round, which was played
Nov. 7. (In that round, Monroe defeated the Community College of
Rhode Island on penalty kicks following double overtime.) Mercer
was down 1-0 at the half, but quickly came back with goals by midfielder
Marlene Chotkowski and forward Kasey Kenny. The Vikings held off
an aggressive attack by Monroe until the last two minutes of the
game when Monroe scored, forcing the game into overtime. Then, with
seconds remaining in the first overtime, a call against Mercer in
front of the goal resulted in Monroe being awarded a direct kick
and scoring as the clock ran out.
Despite the heart-breaking loss, second-year head coach Jodie Ricciardi
is proud of her players and the results of the season. With a final
record of 17-4-1, the Mercer women more than doubled their wins
from last year's 8-11 season.