Photo by Glenn Carpenter/MVCC
Erick Carrasco flies high for a kick against the College of Lake County while he and his teammates are flying high winning their first seven games.
Chuck Bales has spent more than 25 years a soccer player and coach.
Al Palar is 25 years old.
The experienced Bales and the youthful Palar are both enjoying perfection so far.
Bales has coached the Moraine Valley Community College men’s soccer team for 21 years and this year the Cyclones started with a 7-0 mark including a 3-1 victory over Malcolm X on Saturday. The Cyclones outscored their opponents, 35-8 in the first seven games.
Palar is in his first year as the Cyclones women’s coach, and they have gone 10-0, including a 16-0 victory over Truman on Saturday. It was Truman’s first women’s game since 2011. The Cyclones outscored their first 10 opponents 50-1.
One of the happiest people for the success of both programs is Palar, who was an assistant coach with Bales for the past two seasons.
“I’m so excited for those guys,” Palar said. “It’s great to see them having the season they are having and we’re doing well, too. We’re getting a lot of support from the men’s team and we are supporting them whenever we can. We’re also getting support from the volleyball team and players from the basketball teams. It’s been fun.’’
It’s hard to build a dynasty in junior college sports because players come and go so frequently. There is either a one- or two-year window with athletes. So far, the stars have aligned for both teams.
“This isn’t a joke team, this is serious,” said men’s soccer player Przemyslaw Tylka, a sophomore from Sandburg, who was an all-Region IV player last year. “We thought we had a pretty good team last year, but we had some injuries and didn’t do as well as we wanted. This year, we have a good combination of returning players and newcomers and we have worked well together.’’
A signature victory in the streak was a 4-3 overtime victory over Morton College on Sept. 22. The Cyclones were down 3-0 at halftime and turned things around as freshman Stefan Mijatovic (York High School) had two goals including the overtime score. Tylka and Alex Alvaraz (Kennedy) added goals and goalie Alan Garcia (Sandburg) kept Morton off the board in the second half and OT.
“We’ve had teams that have gone undefeated in the regular season before, but this group is special,” Bales said. “There is a lot of talent on this team and we are hoping to get even better to prepare for the postseason.’’
Other sophomore members of the team are Christian Czaja (Lockport), Jose Estrada (Reavis), Gabriel Martinez (Kennedy), Thomas Nie (Sandburg), Giovanni Sanchez (Eisenhower), Jesus Sandoval (Curie), Rafal Slomba (Reavis), Danny Vallejo (Reavis) and Ivan Velazquez (Reavis).
Other freshmen on the team are Erick Carrasco (Washington), Michell Corona (a Hickory Hills resident who attended Garcia Charter), Tawfik Dayem (from Syria), Byron Duran (Oak Lawn), Rafael Herrera (Morton), Gregorio Illner (from Brazil), Elias Leyva (Addison Trail), Maurizio Mancuso (Sandburg), Jose Martinez (Washington), Daniel Navar (Morton), John Nowobilski (a Burbank native who attended St. Rita and UIC) Miguel Ruiz (Kelly), Ryan Temple (Lyons) and Evangelous Vouris (Sandburg).
The women’s team’s signature victory in its streak was a 2-1 victory over Waubonsee Community College Sept. 16. Freshmen Bella Rodriguez (Kelly) and Sintia Salas (Curie) scored the goals in that game. Freshman Kaylyn Egyarto (Sandburg) was the winning goalie.
“We’re playing so much fundamentally better this year,” sophomore Kristina Cysper of Shepard High School said. “And it seems like we’re faster. Waubonsee seemed so much faster last year than this year.’’
Other sophomores on the squad are Liliana Cabrera (Hubbard), Alex Delgado (Reavis), Cecia Esquivel (Eisenhower), Maggie Hacker (Sandburg) and Xitlaly Mandujano (Hubbard),
Other freshmen on the roster are Alex Abed (Stagg), Dalila Alcala (Eisenhower), Francis Corona (Curie), Kourtnie Hanold (Shepard), Alejandra Hernandez (Reavis), Ewelina Kmin (Reavis), Diana Lang (an Orland Park native who attended Marist), Karina Lopez (Reavis), Victoria Paczkowska (Reavis), Lauren Regan (an Oak Lawn resident who attended Mother McAuley), and Paulina Stafira (Stagg)