There’s a lot to be proud of from the 2022 Moraine Valley Community College men’s soccer season, not the least of which is their statistics.
Looking at the Cyclones’ numbers would indicate a successful season. They went 8-5-2 overall (5-1-1 in the final seven games), scored 48 goals, only lost four games by one goal and one game by two, and had a 33-9 goals for-goals against ratio. However, because of more teams in the region and a new format as a result, the Cyclones did not qualify for the playoffs this year. Still, third-year Head Coach Chris Koloffon said this was a talented team.
“We played some really good soccer. The freshmen stepped up, and we were a top team all year. All our opponents knew it,” he said.
The Cyclones lost against the top three teams by either one or two goals. About halfway through the season, they fell 3-2 to an always tough Prairie State College, making it their fourth loss in five games at that point. But the Cyclones didn’t give up. “It was a rough stretch. They could’ve called it in, but then we went 5-1-1, outscored our opponents, and the guys were playing well,” Koloffon explained.
Several players contributed to that turnaround, including freshman goalkeeper Eduardo Sanchez (Shepard). He kept the Cyclones in many matches, particularly the close ones. Opponents never scored more than three goals. Sophomore forward Gael Arriaga (Eisenhower) led the offense with 10 goals and seven assists. He ran the scoring effort consistently and earned All-NJCAA Region IV honors. Another sophomore forward, Gustavo Alvarez (Oak Lawn), started every game and was solid on the field. Although sophomore Aldo Lagunas (Bremen) suffered a season-ending injury at the start of October, he was a rare goal-scoring defender and was team captain. Sophomore defender Carlos Villanueva (Eisenhower) was co-captain and stepped up when his counterpart got injured, working hard all season.
Among the newcomers, Angel Santillan (Catalyst Maria) and Pedro Guzman (Reavis) took control of the midfield. Santillan scored seven goals and collected nine assists while Guzman netted five with eight assists. For his efforts, Santillan earned All-Region IV honors. Jarett Garcia (Little Village) wasn’t originally a starter but ended up becoming one of the best defenders on the team. He was another reason any deficits were so small, Koloffon added. Kostandino Latka (Shepard) became a big goal scorer near the end of the season, contributing with his speed. Rafael Soto (Solorio Academy) had previously competed for the Cyclones during the spring 2020 season and returned this fall. He was strong and an asset at the left back position.
Koloffon gives credit to his assistant coach, Javier Roman, who in his second season with the Cyclones helped get the team in top shape to reduce injuries and helped recruit talent. “Having Javier is amazing. He’s done so much to help this program,” Koloffon said.
Looking ahead, Koloffon wants to keep the players fit in the offseason and stay on top of the work in the classroom. He’s confident the Cyclones will be back in the playoffs 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.