(DENVER, CO) – The Trojan soccer team moved one step closer to a return trip to the NJCAA National tournament this past weekend as they finished second at the Region IX tournament in Denver. TSJC will now head to Districts in Cheyenne, Wyoming on Friday to see if they can punch their ticket to Tyler, Texas.
TSJC got past a feisty Western Wyoming squad on Saturday evening under the lights at Metro State's Regency Athletic Complex by a final score of 5-1. The Trojans jumped out early on the Mustangs when Filip Cvetinovic took a cross from Filip Milivojevic and headed it past the keeper at the 11th minute. Western evened it up prior to halftime off a free kick, when Tanner Trumble slid it past the TSJC defenders and into the net. In the second half TSJC started making some harder runs at the goal. Biska Biyombo and Cvetinovic both scored early in the half on great assists from Jermey Elmore-Klepac and Khori Edmond. Klepac made it 4-1 in the 81st minute after a nice run through the box and Alejandro Garcia finished it off with a short range blast in the 87th minute.
On Sunday night TSJC took on Laramie County for the Region IX title. The Trojans came out firing when a long-range shot from Charles Klepac was barely saved in the opening seconds. TSJC had numerous shots throughout the game, hitting the woodwork twice, but could not get one into the net. The Eagles on the other hand made the best of their limited shots, as their first shot of the game was the only one to find its way home. Despite an amazing effort the Trojans fell 1-0.
"A great Region IX season culminated with a big win over WWCC," said Head Coach Aaron Miller. "The guys responded at halftime and stepped up to the challenge of breaking the 1-1 tie. Unfortunately, the ball didn't bounce our way against LCCC despite huge performances from Jermey and CJ Klepac. Filip Cvetinovic has been playing really well on the attack. Everyone was playing with a good energy and a ton of excitement. Those matches are always heart breaking. I am happy to report that our squad has been receiving a lot of positive attention from outside observers and opposing coaching staffs. They really like the style of play and our individual talents. As we prepare for Friday, we have been reminding each other the need to complete this journey as a team. If we can collectively put together a solid 90-minute match I am certain we will have success against Yavapai. Additionally, everyone would welcome a rematch with Laramie in the District Final."
The Trojans (15-4) are ranked 16th in the latest NJCAA polls. They will travel to Cheyenne on Friday to play a semifinal game against 11th ranked Yavapai (18-3). The Roughriders were the Region I regular season champions. Laramie (17-2) is now 10th in the polls, they will face the College of Southern Nevada Coyotes (15-3-2) in the other semifinal. The semifinal winning teams will earn a spot in the national tournament and will face off on Saturday for the district title. The Trojan/Roughrider kickoff is set for 3 p.m. on Friday.