National Soccer Tourney Kicks Off With Welcome Banquet
By Mark DeCotis, Eastern Florida Athletic Communications // November 17, 2014
titans seeded No. 3 in tournament
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOUNRE, FLORIDA – The 2014 NJCAA Division I Women’s National Championship Soccer Tournament got off to a rousing start on Sunday night with the welcoming banquet at Eastern Florida State College’s King Center for the Performing Arts.
All 12 of the tournament teams were represented along with family, friends and members of the college and local community.
In welcoming the attendees, Eastern Florida President Dr. Jim Richey said while the tournament features “some of the very best intercollegiate athletes and coaches in the nation.”
It’s about far more than who wins and takes home the national title.
“It’s a tribute to the outstanding character of you, the student-athlete, and the high standards in academics and sportsmanship to which you adhere,” said Dr. Richey.
He also lauded the coaches and the families of the athletes “who have given so much to the sport.”
The tournament is taking place on the state-of-the-art soccer field and complex on Eastern Florida’s Melbourne campus that includes seating for 1,500 spectators, a press box and a practice field.
The banquet keynote speaker was Jason Sisneros, assistant coach for the University of North Carolina women’s soccer team, which has won 22 overall national championships, 21 of them at the NCAA level.
Sisneros broke down what makes a champion, referencing the hardships, sacrifices and successes that led to North Carolina’s most recent championship in 2012.
“I’ve been fortunate enough . . . to work with a team that rose to the occasion by putting forth competitive greatness,” Sisneros told the audience.
“They brought their best performance when their best performance was required. This was the 2012 NCAA national champion.
“Tonight I want you to know that a champion exists in the core of who you are as individuals. And even though there were reasons to fall short of the title in 2012 in victory and defeat, the Tar Heels played for each other and in doing so demonstrated what it takes to be a champion.”
It takes a team.
“Deep down I believe everyone wants to be part of something bigger than themselves,” Sisneros said.
“Being a champion is a personal sacrifice. It’s not about what you want but what is necessary for the greater good of the team that is most important. In the end no matter who takes home the trophy those who demonstrated the sacrifice above all else are champions and no one can ever take that away from you.
“So as you embark on the final leg of your championship journey, remember you have a choice of who you are going to play for and being a championship team is bigger than any one person in this room.
“So my advice to you is play for each other this week and you may find your best when your best is required.”
Competition begins with four pool play games at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday. Those games will be followed by four pool games at the same times on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The two semifinal games are scheduled for 5 and 8 p.m. Friday with the championship game set for 7 p.m. Saturday.
Monday, Nov. 17
• 10 a.m. Waubonsee CC vs Iowa Western CC
• 1 p.m. Harford CC vs Otero Junior College
• 4 p.m. Owens CC vs Monroe College
• 7 p.m. St Charles CC vs Eastern Florida State College
Tuesday, Nov. 18
• 10 a.m. Waubonsee CC vs Butler CC
• 1 p.m. Harford CC vs Navarro College
• 4 p.m. Owens CC vs Pima CC
• 7 p.m. St Charles CC vs Darton State College
Wednesday, Nov. 19
• 10 a.m. Butler CC vs Iowa Western CC
• 1 p.m. Navarro College vs Otero Jr College
• 4 p.m. Pima CC vs Monroe College
• 7 p.m. Darton State College vs Eastern Florida State College
1. Iowa Western, 18-0-1
2. Monroe College, New York, 15-1
3. Eastern Florida, 12-1
4. Otero, Colorado, 13-1-2
5. Navarro, Texas, 14-4-1
6. Darton State, Georgia, 16-2
7. Pima, Arizona, 16-4-2
8. Butler, Kansas, 15-4-3
9. Harford, Maryland, 14-3-1
10. St. Charles, Missouri, 14-4
11. Owens, Ohio, 13-4-2
12. Waubonsee, Illinois, 14-3-2
All games will be webcast at www.njcaatv.com and the Saturday final also will be telecast live on WEFS-TV.
Admission prices are: Tournament pass all-matches – Adult, $35. Students, $15. Individual match admission– Adult, $10. Students, $7. Children 5 and under, free. EFSC students, faculty and staff will be admitted free with school ID.
NOTE: Parking will be in the new lot just north of the soccer facility. Concessions and restrooms are on site.