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Soccer: Alexandria College completes "gratifying" seasons

The seasons for the Alexandria College men's and women's soccer teams have concluded and co-head coaches William "Chato" Alvarado and Tom Roos are excited about the potential growth of the program.

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Monticello native Alex Westveer looks up field for the Alexandria College men's soccer team on Aug. 24, 2022. Westveer scored the Legends' first-ever goal late in the first half against Lake Superior College.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press
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Alexandria College had its first season of play on the varsity level for the men’s soccer program this year and they were co-head coached by Tom Roos and William “Chato” Alvarado. The women's team played some conference opponents but played the season as a club team.

Both coaches are feeling great after this season.

“To build a program from the ground floor with nothing – no names or faces of players, no equipment or uniforms, and to have it slowly take shape and then to complete a season was very gratifying,” Roos said.

The Alexandria men’s team finished with a 4-8 record playing at the NJCAA Division III level and placed third in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference.

Riverland Community College ended Alexandria’s season with a 4-3 win on Oct. 20 in the Region XIII semifinals.

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“In the first couple of games, the men’s team did not demonstrate the ability to work together well either in attacking or defending,” Roos said. “They improved to the point where they were competitive with any team in the conference.”

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Chato Alvarado, sitting, and Tom Roos coach from the bench during the Alexandria College men's soccer inaugural game on Aug. 24, 2022. Alvarado and Roos are co-head coaches for both the men's and women's teams at Alexandria Community and Technical College. The coaches are excited about the growth of the program moving forward
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

The men’s team’s first win was a 3-1 win on the road on Aug. 31 at Minnesota West.

Midfielder Alex Westveer, forward Dahir Mohamed and defender Jackson LePage were named to the All-MCAC team.

Westveer was also selected for the 2022 All-Region 13 team.

Roos and Alvarado took home All-MCAC men's co-head coach of the year honors.

The Legends girls program played a few varsity games to start the season but ended up being a club team at the season’s end.

“I think both teams showed significant improvement from where they started,” Roos said. “Building a women’s program is a greater challenge. They truly improved a great deal and I’m excited that we have in place strategies and plans to create a women’s team that will also be competitive in the conference.”

The Legends women's team played against some MCAC teams this year and is listed as having a win that came against Anoka-Ramsey on Sept. 7, 4-1. The hope is to have a full varsity team next season.

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“The players started gaining confidence in themselves (individually and as a team), the technical and tactical improvements were evident during the last games of the season,” Alvarado said of both teams.

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Amanda Shores (23) of Kerkhoven defends Lydia Steinbauer (4) during the Alexandria College women's soccer game against Lake Superior College on Aug. 24, 2022. Alexandria played the season mostly as a club team.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

Alvarado said that team chemistry built for both teams as the season went on.

In the beginning, the struggles were how to make all these players play as a team, Alvarado said. “As the season went along, they started to learn to play with each other and to trust each other. Their performance (individually and as a team) improved tremendously. Another challenge we had was that initially, we didn’t have a way to record our games. It was not till about halfway through the season that we were able to secure our own camera, which allowed us to do film review with the players.”

Roos and Alvarado are excited about the growth of the program not only on the field but off of it as well.

“While I’m excited about the growth of the ATCC soccer program, I’m also hoping that the addition of athletics positively impacts the culture of the college,” Roos said. “Soccer specifically is a sport that brings people together and it has allowed us to bring in more students from diverse communities. I think that creates positive energy and has had a positive impact on the culture of the school, the city of Alexandria and the nearby communities.”

“We’re looking forward to the 2023 season,” Alvarado said. “We will be using world-class technology with the Men’s and the Women’s teams that will help the players monitor and improve their performance, we already secured the Playermaker technology (sensors placed on the soccer shoes that collect data, players and coaches will be able to see that data immediately after each training session or game). We’re currently the only two-year college in Minnesota that will be using this technology.”

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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