Two players from Richland College’s women’s soccer team and one from the men’s soccer team were recently selected as Division III First Team All American by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
Cassandra Andrade and Lauren Vasquez, both playing the forward position, were selected from the women’s team and Fernando Arellano, a central defense player, was selected from the men’s team.
To be selected as a First Team All American means that player is one of the top 11 NJCAA Division III soccer players in the country.
In addition to being named All Americans, both Andrade and Vasquez were named First Team All-Conference. Andrade was also named Metro Athletic Conference (MAC) Offensive MVP and Vasquez was named overall MAC Conference MVP.
“Both young women were very good for us this year,” said Richland College women’s soccer coach Scott Toups. “Lauren served as the team captain and also led the team in scoring. Her leadership is invaluable on and off the field. Lauren plays very hard and works harder than just about any other player I have ever coached.
“Cassandra was already a very accomplished forward when she returned to the team for her sophomore year. She scored 12 goals and had seven assists for 31 points this season. She drew a lot of attention from opposing team defenses, which created scoring opportunities for other team members. Both of these girls were successful because they had each other, along with a very good Richland team around them.”
On the men’s team, Arellano was not only the team’s best defender, but he also was a sophomore leader who organized, communicated and supported the defense and the team.
“Fernando was a key ingredient in our success,” said Richland College’s men’s soccer coach Sean Worley. “He is an excellent player and leader. He is well-liked and respected by his teammates and he was a pleasure to coach this year.”
Richland College’s women’s team ended with a 16-6-2 record, and the men’s team ended with a 24-2-1 record. Both teams played in their respective national championship games this season.