LANCASTER – With the addition of men’s soccer this fall, the University of Antelope Valley’s Athletic Department has taken another step toward the goal of earning recognition as a competitive athletic program. The soccer team’s inaugural season kicked off Sept. 5 with an opener against Vanguard University of Costa Mesa, CA.
“It has been a challenge getting to this point, from the recruiting process to making sure our players meet the eligibility requirements. We are excited the season is finally here and confident we have a good team; made up mostly of freshmen, who will all have the opportunity to get collegiate level playing time,” said UAV Men’s Soccer Head Coach Jarrod Cline.
What the team lacks in experience, the athletes make up in work ethic and confidence, coming together and consistently playing as a unit. Coach Cline looks to the maturity of his team captains, Sergio Ayon and Silbestre Valencia, to lead the players both on and off the field.
Sergio Ayon was an experienced varsity player for Littlerock High School for four years and spent time with the Golden State FC, a successful club in Southern California. “As a young team, we understand the importance of these first games of a new athletic division, and we want to set a good standard and represent UAV well,” Ayon said.
Another addition to the young team is the experienced Silbestre Valencia, who played two years at Citrus College, recording five goals and two assists in his second season, and was team captain his sophomore season. Coach Cline sees Silbestre as a great tactician who understands how the game works.
“Although I may have the most experience on this young team, with two years at a community college, we are more than capable of competing in our division and we have a very bright future,” Valencia said.
“We’ve been training really hard, pushing each other to give our best over these next three games, and we’re ready to go toe-to-toe with any team in our conference,” said UAV Goal Keeper Roberto Hernandez.
“We have to rely on each other to get better each game, stay with each other and work on that togetherness on and off the field,” Coach Cline added.
For more information on the UAV men’s soccer team or the Pioneers Athletic Department, visit them online at www.uavpioneers.com.