NOC soccer previews

August 22, 2022 | Sports

NOC men’s soccer ranked 15th in NJCAA poll

TONKAWA — The Northern Oklahoma College Mavericks enter the 2022 soccer season as the two-time defending regular season conference champions, and ranked 15th in the nation. 

  NOC opens play Wednesday at No. 5 Cowley College at 7 p.m. in Arkansas City.

  “I’m not sure the NJCAA has done us any favors with the preseason ranking,” said coach Michael DuRoy.  “We always have a target on our backs, but anytime you are ranked it’s even bigger.  This group has potential to be a good team.  How soon that will be is anyone’s guess.  We have had basically the same lineup for the last three years so it’s a lot different having so many guys that have no idea what it takes to play at this level.  It’s a learning process, and I’m sure we will have some ups and downs.  If we do things right, we will be playing our best soccer in October.” 

  Returnees include Forward Jaron Frye, defender David Garcia, and All Conference midfielder Daniel Clarke who are expected to provide leaderships for the Mavs.  Returning sophomores include Assanie Brown, Leon Schmitter, Eli Little, Casey Clemo, Gin Muang, Conner Moreno, Marko Madaras, and Kevin Ayala.  Brown has stood out for the Mavericks as the top forward this preseason while Little is challenging for a starting spot in the midfield.  Clemo started the preseason game in goal, and did not allow a goal.  

  The freshmen class will be relied on heavily this season.  Goalkeeper Aron Kanyai has been hurt during the preseason, but has shown enough to be pushing for the starting spot.  Three newcomers have won starting spots on the back line.  Sophomore transfer outside back Boris Nguale has been solid and can play right and left back.  

  Juan Escobar is starting at left back, but can also play right back or either wing position.  Blayne Bryant came to Mavs as a forward, but has locked down one of the centerback positions. 

  Newcomers Ryan Doig and Vum Kyup have been getting the majority of the reps with the first team.  Jhevan Smith has continued the Jamaican pipeline of forwards through Northern.  Smith has been starting as a winger this preseason. Last season, the Mavs were 13-4-2.

NOC women’s soccer ranked 19th in pre-season poll

TONKAWA —  Northern Oklahoma College Maverick Women’s Soccer is ranked No. 19 in the NJCAA preseason poll under the tutelage of coach Michael DuRoy.

  NOC opens the season Wednesday at No. 14 Cowley College at 5 p.m. in Arkansas City.

  “The girls have looked good this preseason,” said coach Michael DuRoy.  “We can really move the ball.  We aren’t as dynamic up front as we were last year, but I feel like we are better everywhere else.  Our experience is the key.  We have a lot of players that have played at this level, so that really helps.  Just like every woman’s team at this level staying healthy will be important because a few injuries can derail a team quickly.  I’m really looking forward to the year.”

  Northern finished the season at 15-4 last year ago and have seven starters returning from a top 20 squad.

Chloe Wilkins and Jazmine Furra are returning starters up front.  Furra missed a good portion of the 2022 season with an ankle injury, but managed to score six goals and had four assists.  Wilkins scored three goals and added six assists in 2022. 

  Sam Mendez and Abbi Vargas are returning starters in the midfield.  Mendez has had an amazing preseason and is prepped for a big season, according to DuRoy.  Three starters return for the Mavs on the back line led by All Conference right back Josie Jarvis.  Lexi Albright and Heidi Wiedmeier round out the returners in the back.  Both started every game last year.  Wiedmeier missed most of the preseason, but should be ready quickly to contribute. 

  Larissa Haagsma could be considered a returning starter at goalkeeper.  Haagsma was the Mavs’ starting goalkeeper in the covid spring season of 2021, but was injured in the first practice of the year in fall of 2021 and missed the entire season.  She hasn’t fully recovered, but will compete for the starting position when she returns. Other returners include Mia Yerian and Maria Perez who has been starting in the preseason, 

  Newcomers up front include two national team players.  Bolivian national team forward Luana San Miguel has been working with the first team, and has the pace and skill to be a problem for defenders.  Kaite Jones has been a star with the Belize national team.  DuRoy said she has been working to adjust to the style of play, but has shown flashes of technical ability and shooting that have led her to be the leading scorer for Belize.  

  Klaire Downey was a coveted midfielder from Ft. Gibson, and has lived up to the billing, but missed a week of training with an illness that has set her back.  2021 mid-year transfer Gaby Gonzalez has won a starting spot in the midfield with her work rate and skill level. 

  Another mid-year transfer has earned a starting position in the back.  Cierra Gann transferred from NCAA Division 1 Robert Morris University.  Gann is a great defender that is able to launch the attack from the back.  Tulsa Union left back Hailey Stage has won the starting job at left back in the preseason.  Stage is a good athlete that can use both feet, which will allow her to play left and right back.  Vanessa Markl has been working with the first team in goal.  Markl is a hardworking, technical goalkeeper that is good enough with her feet to play on the field.