The Eastern Florida State College men's soccer team will open with a couple of one-loss teams in pool play next week at the NJCAA Division I National Championship Tournament at Daytona State College.
The Titans come in as the Southeast District champion and are in Group D with Great Lakes champion Marshalltown Community College and Plains District runner-up Cowley Community College.
The men's soccer team will open the tournament Tuesday night at 5 p.m. against Cowley Community College. Cowley is coming off its only loss of the season in the district final against Barton Community College, who is the No. 3 seed overall and in Pool C.
The Tigers have five players who have scored at least six goals this season, led by Santiago Gimenez with 13 goals and 11 assists.
Then on Wednesday at 5 p.m., the Titans will play No. 4 seed Marshalltown who is 17-1-1 and have gotten to the national tournament in much the same way the Titans have – with a strong defense. Marshalltown is No. 1 in goals against average this season while the Titans have allowed 0.67 average.
Rafael Vacas leads the team offensively, scoring 18 goals including seven game winners this season for the Tigers.
"Marshalltown and Cowley will both pose very dangerous problems for our team as they have had great seasons only losing one game each," Eastern Florida State College men's soccer coach Oliver Twelvetrees said. "However, we will continue to focus on our strengths as a unit and working together to be very hard to beat."
The winner of the Group D pool will advance to the national championship semifinals on Friday afternoon. The championship game will be Saturday afternoon at noon.