Program momentum: it’s something the men’s soccer team at Notre Dame de Namur College has. And it’s something they’re hoping to keep riding.
Fresh off their second-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament, the Argos will look to pick up where they left off and make a run at the Pacific West Conference championship, and a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.
NDNU was voted into a third place finish in the conference by the coaches this year, garnering one first place vote, coming in behind California Baptist and Fresno Pacific. The Argos return eight starters from last year’s 13-5-1 squad, including five All-Conference and three All-Region performers.
NDNU placed three players on the preseason All-PacWest team, led by seniors Armando Garcia and Jesus Gonzalez, with sophomore Tyler Matas also receiving the honor.
Garcia, a forward from Sequoia High School, is no stranger to conference accolades, earning All-PacWest honors in each of the last three seasons. He earned first team honors last year after being named second team All-Conference as a freshman and sophomore. Garcia was also named 2010 PacWest Freshman of the Year after an outstanding debut season.
In addition, Garcia is a three-time All-West Region performer, making both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and Daktronics teams last season. In 2012, Garcia led the Argos in total points with 25 and assists with nine. He also finished second on the team in goals with eight, including four game-winners.
Gonzalez earned second team All-Conference honors last season after making the move to midfield. He finished second on the team in assists with six and third in goals with five, despite missing the last five games with an injury. Three of Gonzalez’s five goals went for game-winners.
Matas, a defender from Honolulu, is coming off an outstanding debut season that earned him second team All-PacWest accolades. He started all 19 games for the Argonauts at right back and played all but six minutes on the season. He led the team with 1,792 minutes played while adding four assists.
The Argos open the season at 12:30 p.m. next Thursday when they host CSU Monterey Bay at Koret Field in Belmont.