| 2011 UST Menís Soccer Season Recap |
The University of St. Thomas Men’s soccer program continued its success in 2011 during its first year of competition in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC). Under the leadership of 5th year Head Coach Aaron Champanoy, the Celts finished the season 9-8-1. With a group of 8 seniors, including returning All Conference players Rafael Bustos and Nick Boras, the team finished 9-4 in conference play and 3rd in the RRAC.
The Celts got off to a tough start against a difficult early season schedule that saw the team play on the road for 7 of the first 10 matches. UST picked up the first win of the season on the road against RRAC opponent Northwood University 2-0. After that game, the Celts gained confidence and grew tremendously, winning 8 of their last 10 regular season matches. The streak earned UST the No. 3 seed in the RRAC Tournament.
UST, who was undefeated in Conference play at home, hosted its first ever post-season match on Nov. 5 and played against Northwood University, the No. 6 seed. The Celts got off to a slow start, but always looked to be in control and ended the match with a 3-1 victory. They advanced to the Conference semi-finals to face off against longtime rival University of Texas at Brownsville. UST started quickly against UT-Brownsville, scoring in the first 4 minutes. The match was a battle that eventually went in to overtime and saw the Celts lose 2-3 on a golden goal. UST finished 3rd in the RRAC, just short of a second trip to the NAIA National Tournament.
The 2011 team leaders include Bustos who ended the season with 8 goals, giving him 28 for his career total and making him the all-time leading goal scorer for the program. Omar Alonso finished with 11 assists, which led the RRAC and placed him 14th in the country for assists. Freshman goalkeeper Jason Taffet finished the season with 85 saves, placing him 3rd in the Conference. Another freshman newcomer, Delano Foster, finished the season with 6 goals. Bustos, Boras, Jack Brett (Cpt.), and Michael Enriquez all placed on the RRAC All-Conference 2nd Team.
The 2011 season says goodbye to a senior class that includes: Boras (Houston, TX), Alonso (Houston, TX), Enriquez (El Campo, TX), Bustos (Houston, TX), John Ruff (LaCrescent, MN), Asayat Camarena (Katy, TX), Rico Pardo (Clear Lake, TX) and Jeuel Ventura (Kent, England). This group will be greatly missed and always remembered by their contributions to the foundation of the Celts Soccer team and UST’s winning tradition.