NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Defending national champion Monroe College set the tone with a goal in the first 50 seconds of Tuesday’s match against Moraine Community College.
And the Mustangs didn’t stop there.
Seventh-seeded Monroe, playing its first game of the 2015 NJCAA Women’s Division I Soccer Championship, went on to record its 14th victory of the season 5-2 and set up Wednesday’s winner-take-all and advance-to the- semifinals game against Tyler Junior College.
Second-seeded Tyler and Monroe clash at 3 p.m. at Eastern Florida’s Titan Soccer Complex on the Melbourne Campus.
The winner wins the pool and moves on, the loser goes home in light of Tyler’s 4-0 victory over Moraine on Monday.
Tuesday’s defeat dropped Moraine to 15-3 and out of the tournament.
Aline Delima netted the first Monroe goal just as the fans were settling in. Kathellen Sousa followed at the six-minute mark and Monroe easily controlled things from there.
Delima scored her second goal with 1:57 to play in the half, making it 5-0. Also scoring were Bruna Tavares, who made it 3-0, and Nicole Rivera, who made it 4-0.
Mustangs head coach Jonathan Garbar went to his reserves in the second half and they conceded twice.
Marbella Rodriguez scored for Moraine with 15 minutes to play, making it 5-1 and six minutes later, making it 5-2.
“We don’t have anything to prove to anybody,” Garbar said about being the seventh seed. “We just have to prove to ourselves. We know who we are.
“Now people who thought they wouldn’t have to deal with us will have to deal with us now. It’s our time now.”
As for the prolific first half: “We did exactly what we said we were going to do so we feel good about it. We feel very confident with what we saw in the first half.
“We were looking to get rest, we knew we would have to go back to back so the goal was to get the players we knew were going to get heavy minutes off the field but also as sharp as possible.
“I thought we looked sharp and we got them off the field so mission accomplished.”
In a way it was mission accomplished for Moraine head coach Al Palar.
“It’s good to end with two goals on a positive note and go home instead of drowning in our sorrows that we lost, just to think of it as a great experience,” he said.
“I am extremely proud of the girls. Not just the season but this tournament as well. We showed that we can compete here. Hopefully just build on this and keep moving forward.”
The nationals appearance was the first for Moraine.