Top-ranked Tyler JC provides major challenge for Lady Bobcats
Written By: Shawn Wansley
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date Submitted: 2010-11-04 14:57:42
By Shawn Wansley
JCJC Sports Information Director
ELLISVILLE – No pressure.
That’s the feeling of the Jones County Junior College Lady Bobcats as they prepare to face top-ranked Tyler Junior College (Texas) in the District E Tournament at 2 p.m. on Saturday in Tyler.
“We have nothing to lose,” said Lady Bobcat head coach Dolores Deasley, who has been named both the MACJC and Region 23 Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year. “We set the goal for winning the state championship this year and we’ve accomplished that. We won region, so we have gone above and beyond that.
“We are not feeling that there is any pressure on us. We are excited for the challenge and we will see what happens.”
The Lady Bobcats, the MACJC and Region 23 champions, will take a 15-2-1 record into the game. The Lady Apaches are 14-0, have been ranked No. 1 all season and won the 2009 NJCAA title by posting a 19-0-1 record.
Deasley said the Lady Bobcats have great respect for Tyler, noting the Lady Apaches are the favorites to win the overall championship again.
“They have high expectations,” she said of the Lady Apaches. “They won the whole thing last year and their goal is to win the whole thing again. Certainly, the pressure is all on them and not us.
“We have a couple of scouting reports on them, so we have a fair idea of what they are all about and what their gameplan will be. We have been working this week on how to stop that.”
A glance at the Tyler roster shows three players each from Ireland and Scotland, two from England, as well as one player each from Canada and Japan. The Lady Apaches, of course, have a heavy influx of Texas players, as well.
Deasley said it would be a tall task to compete with such a deep and talented squad.
“They have a lot of foreign kids, but even without those players, they have a lot to choose from in the state of Texas,” she said. “It’s a good soccer state with a lot of top select soccer teams. They have a huge pool to choose from. Dallas is huge for soccer and they are close to there.
“They have a large roster and a lot of depth. They have eight or nine or ten subs that are every bit as good as what they will have on the field. They will have a lot of depth, so we will just have to outwork them.
“We will have to be organized and play smart.”
JCJC has been organized, smart and solid all season.
The Lady Bobcats have won 11 straight games and posted 12 shutouts. They have won each of their postseason games by 1-0 scores over Itawamba Community College and Hinds Community College in the MACJC Tournament and Meridian Community College in the Region 23 title game.
Liversedge, England, freshman Danica Roberts has led the way with 18 goals and six assists for 42 points. She got the game-winning goal in the Region 23 championship game off an assist by Arlette Cochran. She also had the game-winner in the state championship game vs. Hinds.
Madison Central freshman Macey Endris has ten goals and 23 points and got the winning goal vs. Itawamba. West Jones sophomore Bridget Dennis and Madison Central Chelsea Wooten each have 17 points.
The Lady Bobcats have been outstanding on the defensive end, led by South Jones sophomore Mallory Cowart, Madison Central sophomore Aubrey Weems, Long Beach freshman Trahrissa Monroe, George County sophomores Dana Ivey and Jamie Miller and D’Iberville freshman Audrey Borchardt. Mobile, Ala., freshman Michelle Brumfield has been solid in goal all season.
Tyler is led by Lauren Emmerson, a freshman from Scotland, who leads the team in scoring with 25 points. St. Petersburg, Fla., sophomore Claudia Saucedo is next with 20 points, followed by Plano, Texas, freshman April Goodman and McKinney, Texas, sophomore Jordan Sickman with 6 goals each. Houston, Texas, sophomore Beatrice Soto has played the majority of time at goalkeeper.
Saturday’s game will be played at Pat Hartley Field, which features an artificial playing surface.
To prepare for that, the Lady Bobcats practiced on the Hattiesburg High School field on Wednesday and the Petal High School football field on Thursday.
“The ball bounces differently on turf,” Deasley said. “It bounces a wee bit higher. It’s definitely faster, too. Hattiesburg and Petal have been brilliant to open the gates for us, so we owe them a big ‘thank you.’”
As far as personal honors, Deasley gives all the credit to her players. She earned the Region 23 Coach of the Year award because the Lady Bobcats won the championship. She was named MACJC Coach of the Year by a vote of her peers.
“Obviously, it’s pretty special and I feel privileged,” she said. “At the end of the day, if you don’t have a hard-working, successful team, then coach of the year will not be possible. It’s one of those things where you just give credit back to the team.
“It’s another testament to their hard work.”
Deasley points out that she not only has talented athletes, but outstanding young women from strong family backgrounds.
“It’s all about recruiting good kids,” she said. “Not only do we have good soccer players, they have good character. You see it in the support they get from their families. They are at every single game and that just tells you that they come from a good upbringing. To me, that’s a huge difference.
“Even after the Hinds’ game the other night it was evident. We had just won region and they were not thinking, ‘Let’s go party and celebrate.’ They wanted to go out and enjoy the evening with their families.”
She points to their self-discipline and the leadership provided by the sophomores as being keys to the success of this year’s squad.
“It’s a different group. I’m not saying that they don’t go out and party because I’m sure they have at times,” said Deasley. “But they are a very disciplined group. I am sure they will make up for that after season, but they have kept it under wraps so far.
“We have had great sophomore leadership. They are leading by example.”
The Lady Bobcats know they have a major challenge in front of them. They will board a charter bus around 8:30 a.m. on Friday in front of the C.L. Neill Student Center and make the 400-mile trip to east Texas.
Deasley said the girls are looking forward to making the long bus ride and staying overnight.
“Our team is very excited,” she said. “Obviously, we know we have a tough task in front of us. We will have the mindset that we are going to enjoy the game and work hard when we get there.
“The girls are excited about the trip. They are excited to be staying in a hotel. They are already talking about all of that good stuff. We are looking forward to the whole experience.”
The winner of Saturday’s game will advance to the NJCAA Nationals Nov. 18-21 in Topeka, Kan.
Women’s District E Tournament
Saturday, Nov. 6
At Tyler, Texas
JCJC at Tyler Junior College, 2 p.m.
Game will be audiostreamed on www.apacheathletics.com
Winner will advance to NJCAA National Tournament Nov. 18-21 in Topeka, Kan.