Blinn College men’s soccer cruised to a 5-1 Region XIV win over Paris Junior College on Tuesday at Rankin Field inside Hohlt Park in Brenham, Texas.
The Buccaneers’ latest triumph continues their best start to a season since Blinn launched its men’s and women’s soccer programs in 2018. The Bucs are now 9-2 overall and 3-1 in the region.
“It’s great to stay unbeaten at home and get another region win at that,” head coach Michael McBride said. “We still have things to work on … we’re a bit slow in transition, we can be better when we have possession … but I’m proud of the lads for finding ways to win when maybe we didn’t put our best foot forward.”
Blinn needed a majority of the first half to find its offensive footing but started to roll behind freshman defender Philipp Mokwa’s unassisted goal in the 34th minute of play.
(Pictured: Blinn’s Philipp Mokwa fires a shot toward the gial during a match against Paris Junior College on Sept. 19, 2023)
The offensive momentum carried over into the second half, as the Bucs turned their 1-0 halftime lead into the 5-1 final.
“I think that first goal was just the key to waking us up,” Mokwa said. “Not a lot of teams have more than one or two players who make a difference, but on this team, we have a lot of those guys. We’re getting stronger together and better together, and I think that’s carrying us through these tougher matches.”
Blinn added to its lead in the 60th minute when freshman forward Phillip Arceneaux collected an assist from sophomore forward David Garcia and sophomore defender Flynn Toon and turned it into his fifth goal of the season.
In the 70th minute, Garcia scored his first of two goals on the night on a give from Arceneaux. After the Dragons ended the shutout with a tally in the 71st minute, Garcia struck again when sophomore midfielder Joshua Hernandez-Gutierrez and sophomore forward Pascal Pfeifer teamed up to assist him in minute 78.
(Pictured: Blinn’s David Garcia collects the ball during a match against Paris Junior College on Sept. 19, 2023)
“It took us a while to get into a rhythm, but once we did it was smooth sailing,” Garcia said. “This region is one of the toughest conferences in the NJCAA, so to be able to beat anyone in this region is big, and these wins are important to us.”
Garcia now has 11 goals this season, extending Blinn’s program record for career goals to 27. Garcia is also now Blinn’s all-time points leader with 62. He is currently in a three-way tie for the second-most goals scored in NJCAA Division I this season.
As a team, Blinn leads NJCAA DI with 62 goals and 85 assists.
The Bucs finished with 22 shots and 13 shots on goal against Paris. Blinn also owned a 10-2 edge in corner kicks.
Freshman goalkeeper Noah LeMaster made five saves for the Bucs while earning his NJCAA DI-leading ninth victory of the season.
Blinn’s season continues with a big road trip to ninth-ranked Angelina College. The two teams face off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, in Lufkin, Texas.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 44 NJCAA national championships since 1987.