Coach Tim Pierce Sends Six Soccer Athletes to the Next Level

.From top to bottom: Cesar Oliva, Giancarlo Canas-Jarquin, Ruben Soria, Oscar Palacios, Narcisco Cervantes and Juan David Torres prepare to start their weekly practice on the Corsair Field, Tuesday, May 14, in Santa Monica. (Photo by Clyde Bates/Caption by Cristian Vasquez/The Corsair)

.From top to bottom: Cesar Oliva, Giancarlo Canas-Jarquin, Ruben Soria, Oscar Palacios, Narcisco Cervantes and Juan David Torres prepare to start their weekly practice on the Corsair Field, Tuesday, May 14, in Santa Monica. (Photo by Clyde Bates/Caption by Cristian Vasquez/The Corsair)

The Santa Monica College (SMC) Corsairs Men’s Soccer team has a total of six athletes signing with four-year schools. In a span of three months, head coach Tim Pierce has announced six of his players, including captains Narcisco Cervantes and Cesar Oliva, have officially signed with universities.

The Corsairs had an impressive campaign during the fall 2018 season, winning 17 games, losing only three, and drawing four matches. They qualified for the California Community College Athletic Association SoCal Regionals and made it past the second-round, defeating Santa Ana College in November 2018. Their season came to an end later that month in the third-round of the playoffs in a 3-0 loss to Cerritos College.

On March 30, Pierce announced the first three athletes that had signed. Mid-fielders Oscar Palacios and Juan David Torres obtained scholarships to Kansas Wesleyan University, joining female soccer player Jaqueline Montepeque in Salina, KS as the three Corsairs soon to be Coyotes.

That same day, captain and defender Ruben Soria, a two-time All-Western State Conference Selection and Team Defensive Most Valuable Player (MVP), signed with UCLA. Soria only managed one goal in the 2018 campaign, but his defensive skills and tactics show a promising future with the Bruins in Westwood.

“I feel great, super excited. It’s been a long-term goal of mine since I was a kid just to play at that level. It means everything. I’m the first person in my family to go to college, especially from a world-wide school like UCLA, it’s really great,” said Soria.

In early May, captain and defender Cesar Oliva signed a letter of intent to play at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). As a two-year starter, Oliva was a two-time All-Western State Selection. He managed to score two goals last season, one of which was a game-winner.

On Saturday, May 25, Pierce announced that the Corsairs’ other captain, Cervantes, will join his teammate and co-captain at LMU. Cervantes was an All-Western Conference Selection and an All-Regional Selection. He was also titled the team’s MVP. His 2018 season finished with a total of six goals and six assists.

“I’m excited… it’s just a really good feeling to know that there’s a future. There’s a lot of really good friends that I’ve made here so I know they’ll be my friends forever,” said Cervantes.  

Forward Cyrille Njomo from Cameroon signed a letter of intent to play at California State University, Los Angeles. He obtained the offer after a very successful season, scoring 15 goals and four assists. Four of his goals were game-winners. Njomo received offensive MVP and All-Western State honors. He was also the leading scorer on Pierce’s squad.

As his athletes prepare to embark on their quests for success, Pierce wants them to know that their biggest challenge is yet to come. “The game is going to be that much more serious and the level is going to be higher. You can’t really be too intimidated, but you have to go in there and know the things that got you there and be true to who you are as a player.”