SAN ANTONIO (May 29, 2012) -- Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) 's men's soccer team has added nine student-athletes to its 2012 squad.
The Saints finished the 2011 season with an overall 12-6-2 record and a 7-3-1 record in the Red River Athletic Conference. They scored 45 goals and added 29 assists throughout the year – the most since beginning their inaugural season in 2007. The team made its third consecutive trip to the conference playoffs, where this past season, the Saints finished in the semifinals round.
Joining the team this year is local standout Conner Mitchell, a defender from San Antonio Warren High School. Mitchell was a two-year starter and was named captain this season. He earned All-District twice for the Warren team. Mitchell also excels in the classroom as he was a member of the National Honor Society.
The Saints have added two international players to the squad. Joining the team from England is Joe Palmer, who played on the Genessee Community College in New York. Martin Hansson, who hails from Sweden, is a goalkeeper. He attended Richland College in Dallas.
Joining the Saints from the Rio Grande Valley are Simón Chávez, José Humberto De La Garza, José Guerrero, Israel Lince, Victor Muñoz and Giovanni Sierra.
Chávez is a graduate of La Joya High School, where he was a defender on the Coyotes team. "I'm very excited about this opportunity and I'm going to give it my all at Our Lady of the Lake." Chavez was a key player on the "second-best defense in District 30-5A." The Coyotes only gave up eight goals in 10 district matches last season and is among the top four teams in 30-5A. In addition to excelling on the field, Chávez is an exceptional student in the classroom. He completed a semester's worth of dual enrollment with South Texas College and plans to major in criminal justice at OLLU. (RGVFutbol.com)
De La Garza attended Brownsville Hanna High School. The central defender said upon signing with the Saints, "This is a great opportunity, and I'm going to take it. I think an opportunity like this only comes once in a lifetime." At Hanna, De La Garza was named to the All-Valley Second Team and the Brownsville Herald's 2012 All-Metro Boys Soccer Team First Team. (RGVSports.com)
Guerrero, a midfielder, played for Mercedes High School . He was named to the All-Valley Honorable Mention Team. Muñoz and Sierra are from Brownsville Rivera High School. The two helped guide the Raiders to the 2012 District 32-5A championship. Munoz was selected to the Brownsville Herald's 2012 All-Metro Boys Soccer Team Second Team as a midfielder. Sierra was chosen to the First Team as a midfielder.
Lince is a graduate of Valley View High School in Hidalgo. He captained a defense that allowed only 10 goals in 12 District 63-4A matches to help his team with its second district title. Lince said, "I'm really happy for this opportunity. It's been a dream of mine and something I've always wanted since I came in as a freshman." Lince finished his first two years of college through dual enrollment. (RGV Futbol.com)
After competing in a scrimmage at home against the University of the Incarnate Word on Aug. 25, the Saints will begin their regular season at Lubbock Christian University on Sept. 1. On Sept. 20, they will kick off their conference schedule against Wiley College in Marshall, Texas.
The NAIA Champions of Character program aims to instill five core values in NAIA athletes, coaches: respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship. Our Lady of the Lake University shares and supports these values and strives to promote the Champions of Character program by working with students, coaches through our Champions of Character educational program. For more information on the Champions of Character program, click here: www.championsofcharacter.org.
Luis A. Lárraga
Sports Information Assistant