Moraine Valley Community College women’s soccer got back to their winning ways thanks to a new coach, talented recruits and skilled returners.
This season, Moraine Valley finished with a 7-4-2 overall record and went 2-2-1 in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference; a big improvement from their 3-9 record in 2022. Head Coach Javier Roman, who was assistant coach for the men’s soccer team the last three years, came in to lead the program, prepared to get the players ready and conditioned for success. And he was happy with the results.
“All the work paid off. I was happy with our performance,” Roman said. “It was an amazing season. Every player did what I asked, and they were respectful and mature on the field.”
The Cyclones ended the season two games into the NJCAA Region 4 playoffs after having not made it the last few years. A talented squad helped yield this success.
Sophomores Dyani Calderon (Kennedy), Jada Cunningham (Stagg) and Natalia Ochab (Stagg) each were named to the All-Region 4 team. Ochab led the scoring with seven goals followed by Calderon with five. Cunningham started in midfield but was moved to defense and was pivotal for the team, Roman said.
Newcomer Megan O’Neill (Andrew) and Ochab were unstoppable in the middle, according to Roman, but O’Neill and Calderon also were used on defense. The Cyclones had three goalkeepers, and they each shared time. Freshman keeper Ximena Delgado (Shepard), however, led with 53 saves and only five goals against her this season. Roman could list the contributions of every player on the team because they changed positions when needed, and everyone had a chance to play.
“The friendships were good, and they gelled. They became close, and their mentality changed,” Roman said. “They saw I wasn’t playing games. I came in ready to go, and it all worked. We did well.”
The running conditioning that Roman implemented also paid off because other teams would cramp up deeper into games while his athletes lasted longer with more gas in the tank. Plus, the team largely remained healthy into the playoffs.
After the final game, Roman immediately began thinking about how to get his team further in the playoffs next year. He’s already in recruiting mode while asking his returners to lift weights (and hit the books) in the offseason. He and his assistants are looking forward to even more success next year.
For updates on Cyclones Athletics, visit mvcyclones.com.
For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or Vizzam@morainevalley.edu.