Men’s soccer team hopes to defend title

Michael Mebratu

The City College Soccer Team has big shoes to fill after losing star striker Mark Knight to Louisville.

The Vaqueros finished the season as Western State Conference Champions, and racked off 13 straight victories to cap off an outstanding season.

Although the team lost some valuable players, the incoming freshmen and returning players form a solid core for Head Coach John Sisterson.

“I feel we have enough talent and chemistry on the squad that we can finish off like last season,” he said.

Sisterson made it clear that he doesn’t want to make comparisons with last year’s team, but wants to look to the future with his new squad.

“I feel very positive about this squad,” Sisterson said. “The chemistry is there and it wouldn’t be fair to the new players to talk about the success of last year’s team.”

This time around, Sisterson believes the depth of the team will be essential, and that the goal scoring will be spread evenly amongst the team. He hopes that his returners will have a big impact, and click with the younger players.

Although the Vaqs lost some team leaders from last season, such as Mark Knight and Wahid Ibrahim, Sisterson remains optimistic.

“We will try to play attractive soccer and always try to outscore our opponents,” he said, “We’re an offensive team.”

City College returns six starters from last year’s team that finished 20-5 overall and 13-1 in the WSC. They won the conference by 15 points and outscored the opposition 53-5 in conference play.

“I have an offensive philosophy and I believe we have acquired the right players for it, so we are desperately trying to sell our system to the new players,” he said.

This year the Vaqs have acquired a mixture of international and local players, such as 18-year-old freshman Michael Dowson from England, Santa Barbara High School graduate Peter Aguilar, and 18-year-old goalkeeper Yonha Adrabi. They have impressed the coach with their talent and grace.

“Last year’s goalie Ricky Placencia is out for two months with a finger injury, and Yonha has really stepped it up in his absence,” Sisterson said.

He also added that if the team can click like last year, and avoid major injuries, then we’re in for an exciting season.

“We are just going to try and win the next game, it would be nice to win the conference again, and get to the state championship,” he said. “The most important thing is that we play our on game and that we try to behave respectfully towards out opposition and towards our own squad.”