Photo by Bruce Jacobsen
LANCASTER - So what will the Marauder men's soccer team do for an encore?
The answer to that question will be answered today.
AVC finished its inaugural season in 2016 with a 6-9-6 record and a fifth-fifth place finish in the Western State-South Division Conference.
Not bad for a first-year program which sported all freshmen with the exception of two players. Returning are five of the six players which earned All-Conference honors, including Jose Mojica, who was named the conference Player of the Year after finishing seventh in the state with 19 goals and 10th in the state with 43 points.
"I thought we had a very successful spring training and we came into summer training with high expectations to have a solid sophomore season," AVC head coach Jerry Stupar said. "A strong freshman class has been recruited to meet the expectations of the sophomores returning to develop a stronger program."
Joining Mojica and others returning this season that were on the All-Conference team are Matthew Fletes who was named to the First Team following a three-goal, seven-assist season. Second teamers Carlos Cruz and honorable mention selections Alfredo Salcedo and Christian Perez are looking to build off last season's success. Only goal keeper Trevor Allen, who was named to the First Team, is not on the Marauders' roster.
"We have greater depth in all areas of the field and multiple attacking players that can finish," Stupar said. "Our greatest challenge this season will be ourselves, striving for team success over individual glory, as high numbers of athletes with strong technical abilities, the mental toughness and tactical awareness will separate the strong from the elite. The staff and I are excited and ready to accept the challenges we face coming into preseason and setting goals for battling for a conference championship."
AVC's preseason will definitely prepare it for conference play as the Marauders will face two top 15 teams in Pasadena City College and Oxnard College.
The Marauders open their season today when they host Imperial Valley, the team they defeated last season for the first victory in school history. The game will be played at 3pm at Marauder Stadium.