Last season’s Southwestern College men’s soccer team tied for first place honors with San Diego City College in Pacific Coast Athletic Conference play, finishing 14-3-3 overall.
The Jaguars kicked off PCAC play Tuesday by defeating visiting SDCC, 2-0, to improve to 6-1-3 overall.
Head coach Cem Tont believes his team has the makings of another championship side. “We expect (to have) a team that is going to play for the conference championship,” he said, adding, “We have a goal to make the state playoffs and advance in the competition.”
Top returners include Juan Villasenor, Chris Navarro, Oscar Gonzalez, Carlos Casas and Alan Baca.
Impact newcomers include Sergio Villalva, Joey Estrada, Kaan Gultoprak, Marco Carrillo Leon, Ruben Escobar and David Lopez.
Leon, Villasenor and Estrada each scored goals in a 3-0 non-conference victory at San Bernardino Valley on Sept. 14.
SWC’s women’s team is off to an equally promising 4-2-1 start, including a 1-1 conference record.
The Jaguars shut out SDCC, 4-0, on Sept. 18 to even their PCAC record. Southwestern kicked off the season 3-0-1.
Top returners include sophomore midfielder/forward Uilani Himan, a second team all-conference pick as a freshman, and sophomore goalkeeper Karinna Himan, a first team all-conference selection as a freshman.
Karinna Himan played 1,457 minutes last season with a 1.42 goals-against average, and was voted all-around MVP.
Other top returners include sophomore midfielder Laura Del Castillo and sophomore defender Vanessa Martinez.
Impact newcomers include forward/midfielder Kelsey Avalos (High Tech High), defender Celina Ibarra (Otay Ranch), midfielder Jocelin Camacho (San Ysidro High) and defender Alyssa Gonzalez (Bonita Vista), all freshman.
Jaguar coach Karyna Figuero said a strong returning sophomore class and a “great” incoming class should reap dividends this season.
“There is definitely a lot of potential for us this year,” Figuero said. “Our overall goal is to continue to grow as a program and I believe that we are on the right track.
“Last year we placed sixth in conference; this year our team goal is to finish in the top three. We have a very competitive and difficult conference but we believe we can compete.”