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Young PJC soccer teams stretch for improvement

Published or Revised October 08, 2015

soccer photos

Scenes from the 2015 soccer season at PJC.

Both soccer teams at Paris Junior College are largely made up of freshmen, and they are gaining good experience this season.

The men’s soccer team surrendered a one-point lead to a very talented San Jacinto College in a game on Sept. 11. Dallas freshman Cyrus Gakuo scored off a throw-in from Prosper freshman Jordan LeClair.

“PJC played their best soccer to date until a minute before half time when a goal was given up, said PJC Head Soccer Coach Cossaboon, “sending both teams into the half with a goal each.”

Just as PJC dominated the first half, San Jacinto took over the second half. PJC gave up a penalty kick and scored an “own goal.”

On Sept. 14 the women’s team had a very good day against Brookhaven College. Houston freshman Telisa Jones led all scorers with three goals, earning her first hat trick at PJC. San Antonio sophomore Alyssa Guerrero added a goal, making the score 4-0. Little Elm freshman Bethel Chibesa added the final fifth goal - her first of the season. Morales gained a shutout.

On Sept. 18 both teams dropped games to Tyler Junior College teams ranked fourth in the nation at the time, the women 0-7 and the men 0-4. The next day the women lost to Jacksonville College and the men won 7-0.

The Tyler Junior College men’s team is the defending national champion and the Dragons had difficulty finding their rhythm. Tyler opened with a quick strike in the first minute, following with another in the seventh minute. From there PJC settled down and played better, though eventually losing.

“Tyler Junior College jumped on us early and pressed the entire game,” said Cossaboon. “They are a very good team.”

Twenty-four hours later the men found their game, dominating Jacksonville College by a score of 7-0.  Houston freshman Reagan Abbott scored in the first half, assisted by Frisco freshman Danny Garcia. Gakuo scored twice, assisted by Amarillo freshman Adrian Gomez and Rowlett freshman Lavrick Mulla.

Garcia scored with an assist from Dallas freshman Sergio Guerrero, and Amarillo freshman Alex Gonzalez scored with an assist from Mulla. Guerrero scored in the second half assisted by Gomez and Mulla made the final goal with an assist by Abbott.

The women’s soccer team came out strongly against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, ranked 20th in the nation by NJCAA, on Sept. 28. Twenty minutes into the first half Telisa Jones crossed the ball to McKinney freshman Gates Lambeth who headed the ball in for the first goal of the game. Twenty-three minutes later Alyssa Guerrero scored a penalty kick. NEO scored a goal late in the first half for halftime score of 2-1, PJC.

The Lady Dragons carried the same intensity into the second half as they battled with NEO. PJC held them off until the last eight minutes of the game, when NEO scored to tie the game at 2-2.

Late in the second overtime NEO scored a quality goal to win, an even contest for PJC, who had lost to NEO 2-0 earlier in the season.

“The PJC women left it all on the field,” said Cossaboon. “This was their best performance to date.”

On Sept. 25 the PJC men’s soccer team lost a close, tough battle to Laredo Community College, 3-4. Amarillo freshman Miguel Reyes netted his first career hat trick, scoring all three of PJC’s goals during the game, giving him six goals for the season.

The next day the Dragons come from behind to beat Coastal Bend College 2-1 in overtime. They dominated the first half with seven shots on goal. Coastal Bend scored early in the second half to take the lead 1-0. In the 85th minute Gakuo scored the equalizer, assisted by Mulla, to send the game into overtime. It didn’t take long for PJC to find the game winner. In the second minute, Miguel Reyes scored the game winning penalty kick to give the Dragons the win. 

The PJC women put in an improved performance on Oct. 3 against Navarro College, which was ranked ninth in the nation at game time. The Lady Dragons battled and pressed until the very end when Navarro countered for an insurance goal to gain a 2-0 win.

“The girls improved tremendously against one of the top teams in the nation,” said Cossaboon. “Their intensity and skills rose to another level. Everyone played with the kind of attitude we need at this level. In addition, goalkeeper Yuliana Morales (sophomore from Paris) was outstanding.”

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