Western Nevada College is ascending the West Coast Soccer Association standings. Participating in the NorCal men’s and women’s divisions, the Wildcats are more than holding their own during the 2017 spring club seasons.
The WNC men are off to a 2-1 start — good for third place in the eight-teams NorCal men’s division. Meanwhile, the women kicked off their spring season with a 1-1 tie with the University of Nevada, Reno last Saturday, putting them in fourth place in the NorCal league.
WNC’s club program is being directed and coached by Jim Barlow, who has brought 19 years of coaching experience to the Wildcats. Barlow has coached NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA teams, including Sierra Nevada, Consumes River, University of Antelope Valley, Cal State San Bernardino, Cal Poly Pomona and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
The Wildcats lost to the UNR women twice last fall, but controlled the match against the Pack this game until the end. WNC led 1-0 at the break behind a goal by Maribel Ledezma, but UNR scored the equalizer on a free kick with 15 seconds remaining.
“With the addition of seven new student athletes, the Lady Wildcats have a stronger and deeper roster this spring and have high goals for a top-2 finish in the always rugged NorCal Division of the West Coast Soccer Association,” Barlow said. “This is one of the most competitive groups I have had the privilege to coach in a long time.”
WNC next plays first-place UC Davis at 9 a.m. Saturday in Davis, Calif.
The WNC men’s club outlasted UNR, 3-2, on Saturday in a home match. Scoring goals for WNC were Mario Ugalde, Dane Petersen and Alberto Ramirez.
“The game was a fun and action-packed affair that had everything a college game would want: great goals, good team conduct and clear blue skies,” Barlow said.
“Both teams want to thank the more than 75 fans who came out and supported the teams this weekend.”
The men’s club previously defeated Sacramento State’s “B” club, 2-0, and lost to No. 1 UC Davis, 4-1.
“‘With the addition of so many new faces to the team, this group hasn’t hit their stride yet, so the goal is to play better and better each week so that we can have a top-3 finish in league,” Barlow said. “There are some very talented student-athletes in this group and they are very fun to watch.”
Leading the way is Ugalde with two goals, while Petersen, Ramirez, Ivan Camacho and Adam Radow have scored a goal apiece.
The men’s club continues its season at Sonoma State at 2 p.m. April 9. Home matches are scheduled against UC Davis on Saturday, April 15 at noon and against Chico State on Saturday, April 22 at 2 p.m.
The women’s club roster includes Annie Aranda, Kiersten Briggs, Jessi Chitwood, Mavil Diaz, Zaide Diaz Sanchez, Karina Espinoza, Sarah Hernandez, Alexys Hood, Maribel Ledezma, Jaquelin Martinez, Marlayna Martinez, Jessica Mendoza, Ericka Munoz, Stacey Ornelas and Alexis Vega.
The men’s club roster includes Jesus Abundis, Robert Abundis, Jose Alvarez, Victor Amezcua, Eric Avila Avina, Ivan Camacho, Jean Celestin, Joel Celestin, Jonathon Garcia, Alex Gonzalez, Max Kyte, Jason Martinez, Richard Martinez, Dane Petersen, Adam Radow, Alberto Ramirez, Joe Roberson, Hector Santana, Mario Ugalde, Jurain Villa and Alex Whiteman.