An entire team of first year players is not expected to post a record-breaking season but that is exactly what the BHCC men’s soccer team accomplished this year. With an undefeated regional record, a regional championship and an appearance in the final four for national NJCAA championships the 2012 men’s soccer team far exceeded expectations. After graduating many second year players from last year’s championship team, the BHCC coaching staff (head Coach Scott Benjamin, first assistant Jake Beverlin, and Second Assistant Joe Parsons), was determined to assemble another championship team. Their recruiting efforts brought together players hailing from as far away as Brazil and Sweden, and as close as Revere and Dorchester, Ma. The collection of international, national and local players turned out to be the perfect mix and the best team that Bunker Hill Community College has seen to date was created. Keepers Estive Sosa, Alfonso Rosales and Camilo Florez shared goal keeping duties until Sosa took the responsibilities during the final championship matches. Texan and All American-American Jordan Wright and local star Max Ochoa (Revere Ma) provided a solid defensive core as center backs. Brighton High’s Klismam Mendez secured one outside back position, with a Sanitago Tula (East Boston), Ralph Angrand (Hyde Park High), Gliberto Pinhoni (Brazil) all taking turns at the outside back position. Three recruits from Sweden, Andres Colomobo, Marcus Linbjork, and Lukas Nordin anchored the midfield, and supported the strong offensive attack lead by local players Vladimir Mead (Hyde Park High), Marcus Pizetti (Malden High), Pedro DaSilva (Madison Park High), Elton Texiera (Burke High) and Santiago Tula (East Boston High).
This season also saw six time “coach of the year,” Scott Benjamin, post his 100th win. “100 wins is a great milestone in a coaches career but its nothing compared to advancing as far as we did in the national tournament. This team was special. I can’t give enough credit to my assistant coaches Jake and Joe. They were central to our efforts. I was also extremely proud of what our boys achieved this season. Every player worked hard, and we had great chemistry. The two back to back, over-time wins in penalties against Manchester CC in the regional finals and against Richland Texas in the quarter finals of the national tournament really highlighted the teams strength of character.”
This BHCC team, which led the nation with 91 goals scored, will return a number of players and seek to repeat this year’s success during the 2013 season.
The 2012 was a record-breaking season for the BHCC men’s soccer team. The team finished the season as the national leader in goals scored (with 9); freshman Valdimir Mead was second leading goal scorer in the country. The team was undefeated in regional play, won the state title and then went on to win the regional championship in overtime penalties. The team them moved on to another victory in penalties in the first round of the national championships against Richland Texas. The team then made a first time appearance in the final four in the national tournament.
This years winning season brought a number of accolades to BHCC players. Jordan Wright of Austin, Texas was awarded one the highest honors possible for a junior college player receiving First Team All-American Awards from both the National Junior Athletic Association (NJCAA) and the National Soccer Coaching Athletic Association (NSCAA). Forward Vladimir Mead of Dorchester, MA (Hyde Park High), set a school scoring record with 33 goals on the season. This tally made Mr. Mead the second leading scorer in Division III for the NJCAA and earned him Second Team All-American Awards from both the NJCAA and NSCAA. Five BHCC players were named to the All Region Team. Along with Mead and Wright, Lukas Nordin and Marcus Lindbjork two first year players from Sweden, earned NJCAA Region 21 First team honors. Center back Max Ochoa (Revere, Ma), second leading team scorer forward Marcus Pizzetti (Malden, Ma) were both awarded All Region Second Team honors.
First Team All American Jordan Wright focuses on moving the ball up the field
BHCC men’s soccer has a history of winning on the field, and that success is mirrored by success in the classroom. The last two season the team has posted a 95% in school retention rate from one season to the next. The success on the field and in the classroom has lead to over 30 players transferring to four year institutions across Division I, II and III. The great success of this year’s team has attracted the attention of many four year programs. As a result, a large number of this year’s star players are moving on two Division II and Division III colleges. All American Jordan Wright has chosen to move on to Division II. Andres Colomobo and Lukas Nordin have decided to lend their talents to the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference powerhouse Dominican College. Max Ochoa, Alfonso Rosales and Marcus Pizetti have set their transfer sites on UMass Boston.
The diligent efforts of the coaching staff along with cooperation from many excellent faculty, help the BHCC men’s soccer program to instill goal setting that includes success in both soccer and school. “Let’s face it, every year we set out to win, but as a two year program we have an equally important goal to help our players transfer to four year programs. Players with good grades have many more options and receive much more funding when they move on, so we stress the importance of academics as part of our soccer program,” stated Head Coach Scott Benjamin who was himself and Academic All American player in College.
Lukas Nordin (22) and Andres Colombo (8) teamed up all season to create a solid midfield core for BHCC. The two Swedish imports plan to take their skills to Dominican College next fall.
With the historic 2012 season behind, and many key players transferring to four-year programs, BHCC men’s soccer’s could simply rest on their laurels. But that is not the Bunker Hill way. The coaching staff is already working hard to create a path to success for next years team. Recruiting, locally, nationally and internationally, the team looks to add to the core of returning players. “We have a solid returning core. I think our talks with players in Sweden, Finland, England, Brazil and Norway as well as with some very excellent local prospects should lead us to another great season. At the moment we have a very good player from Finland, two from Sweden and some excellent local guys that will help keep us at the top of the field,” says Coach Benjamin. Led by second year talent Vlad Mead, Pedro DaSilva, Elton Teixiera, Santiago Tula and keeper Estive Sosa what records next year’s team break?
Number 19 Sanitago Tula from East Boston (pictured above) and Klismam Mendez (14) (Brighton High) are two of the core returners that will anchor next years BHCC men’s soccer team.
After four outstanding years as the head assistant for the men’s soccer team at Bunker Hill Community College, Jake Beverlin is moving on. Like many of the programs successful players have done, Beverlin is transferring to take the reigns as the head coach at UMass Boston. Head Coach Scott Benjamin has nothing but praise for Beverlin, “I can’t say enough about the impact that Jake has had on our program at BHCC. We were good, but when he joined us we became great! I’m entirely confident that he will take UMass to the next level.”
Working on and off the field Jake has helped many former BHCC student athletes’ on and off the field. Northeast 10 Division II player of the year Frankie Pena commented, “I was tremendously impacted by him…He motivated me to accomplish my dream to play at a D2 college. UMass is fortunate to obtain such a great coach that not only cares about students soccer-wise but also in the academic aspect.” Another BHCC great, Anderson Espana who moved on to play Division I soccer stated, “I was fortunate enough to have Jake as a coach at BHCC for two years. Its great to know that all his hard work and dedication have finally paid off.” As a testament to the players’ admiration for Coach Beverlin, six to eight former BHCC stars are planning on transferring and playing for Beverlin next year. “Jakes a great person and coach. It’s going to be a pleasure playing for him for the next three years,” commented 2012 captain Max Ochoa, who is planning on following Coach Beverlin to UMass.
The men’s soccer program would like to thank Jake for his years of outstanding service and dedication to the players, and the program. He will be sorely missed. Good Luck Jake! “Take This!”
While playing at BHCC Frankie Pena scored 24 goals in a 16 game season, generating one of the most effective scoring runs of any BHCC player. But Mr. Pena’s success didn’t stop there. Pena’s skills on the field and in the classroom led to a scholarship offer and a transfer to Division II stalwart Merrimack College. Frankie continued his pursuit of excellence at Merrimack, twice earning a spot on the Dean’s list and topping of his career at Merrimack being awarded the Northeast Ten Conference Player of the Year. Mr. Pena will graduate in May with a major in criminology and two minors in sociology and business. He is attempting to further is playing career and will be trying out with the New England Force a new professional team located outside Hartford Connecticut.
Former BHCC forward, Frankie Pena is named Northeast 10 Conference Player of they year.