TSC Men’s Soccer Club heads to regionals

For the second consecutive season, the Texas Southmost College Men’s Soccer Club packed up its cleats and headed north, this time to Lubbock, to compete in the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Region IV Super Regional Soccer Championships, from Oct. 28-31.

“We’re going with the intention of bringing back the title that we won in 2019 since there wasn’t a tournament in 2020 due to the pandemic. We have all the desire in the world to bring back our bid to compete in the national tournament,” said TSC Men’s Soccer Club Head Coach Mario Zamora. “We are well prepared and the players are motivated and conscious of the fact that we can have a good shot at winning the regional tournament.”

This will also be Zamora’s second straight trip to the regional tournament at the helm of the Scorpions. TSC was the only community college men’s soccer team to qualify to the 2019 regional tournament and repeats the feat this season.

“We’re thankful for the support we’ve received from our community and the college, the TSC Board of Trustees, TSC President, students and administration,” said Zamora. “We want to make TSC and our community proud and showcase the talent we have in the Rio Grande Valley.”

TSC defeated Texas State University 3-2 in the last game of the regular season to qualify for the regional competition.

“I’m excited, it’s my first time going to regionals with this team and I feel confident,” said Scorpions defender Gerardo Valle, who played at Brownsville Veterans Memorial during high school. “We have a really solid team that can take us all the way. We have a lot of quality players on the team and a good coach.”

The Scorpions will open up the tournament on Friday at 7 p.m. against Texas A&M University in the first match of pool play. On Saturday, Oct. 30, at 11:30 a.m., TSC will continue its quest for one of the three national tournament bids against Southern Methodist University. The Valley squad will wrap up pool play that same day at 6:30 p.m. when they take on Washington University-St. Louis.

The winners of each pool advance to one of two championship matches to be played on Sunday, Oct. 31 at 8 a.m. The two finalist winners will advance to the national tournament. The losing finalists will face off at noon for the third and last national bid. The NIRSA Soccer National Championships will take place Nov. 18-20 in Foley, Alabama.

During the regular season, all of TSC’s opponents were four-year universities such as Baylor, Texas State, St. Edward’s, the University of Texas-Austin, Trinity, the University of Texas-San Antonio and Texas A&M-Galveston. TSC’s only loss came against UT-Austin.

“It wasn’t easy. It was a tough season,” said Valle. “We got through and pushed all the way. We are where we are now because of it. We just have to keep doing our best and we’ll see the results.”

TSC’s tough regular-season schedule against four-year universities prepared the team for regional competition.

“It (regular season) prepared every single one of us to learn from our mistakes. We got better as a team,” said TSC freshman defender Adrian Longoria, who played high school soccer at Los Fresnos. “I believe we can go far. We show up to practice every day and put in the work. With the team that we have, I believe we can win regionals and go to nationals. It’s going to be a tough competition, but as a team we believe that we can accomplish anything.”