Nearly one year ago, Patrick & Henry Community College’s men’s soccer team lost in penalty kicks against Georgia Military College in the Atlantic District championship game. One year later, P&H found themselves facing the same foe - once again with a chance to earn an automatic bid to the NJCAA DII Men’s Soccer National Championship Tournament. On Saturday, October 28th, the Patriots defeated GMC 2-0 in regulation play and earned a spot in the national tournament.
“We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to represent Patrick & Henry on the largest stage of DII NJCAA soccer,” said Patriots head coach Brennan Murphy, adding, “We are thankful for the support of the community and feel we have as good a chance as anyone to find success in Arizona.”
For the first time, the Patriots not only won back-to-back championships in the region; they also earned their very first Atlantic District championship since joining the NJCAA in 2012. P&H will head to the NJCAA Tournament for the second time in program history (the team participated in 2021 after earning an at-large bid). With this year’s win, their bid was secured to join the field of colleges on November 12-18th in Tucson, Arizona.
The Patriots took the lead early on Saturday on an unassisted goal by Nico Blanc in the fifth minute. Enrique Jacobs gave his team insurance on a penalty kick in the 49th minute, earned by Zaid Santos. P&H goalie Andre Chavez had six saves for the win. With the win, Patrick & Henry heads into the tournament with a 10-4-1 overall record and a 5-1 conference record. The tournament seedings will be announced via the NJCAA Network on November 7th.
Patrick & Henry became back-to-back Region 10 champions by defeating Louisburg College 5-2 in the 2023 Region 10 Championship game. Prior to the match, P&HCC midfielder Zaid Santos was named Region 10 Division II Player of the Year. Santos had three goals and two assists this fall as a captain for the Patriots.
In addition to Santos, the Patriots had four other players named first team all-region: defender Chava Bernal, midfielder Pleh Reh, forward Enrique Jacobs, and midfielder Jaden Watson. Goalie Andre Chavez and midfielder Joao Prestes were named second team all-region. Jacobs was second in the region with 11 goals this season. He and Prestes were tied for the region lead with six assists each. Chavez was second in the district with 61 saves and a 1.53 goals against average.
P&HCC coach Brennan Murphy was named region coach of the year for a sixth straight season.
Brian Henderson, P&HCC Assistant Vice-President and Athletic Director said, “This program embodies what being a member of our PHamily is all about. They support each other on and off the field. They are exemplary students in the classroom and provide many hours of community service to the youth in our community. All of these things add up why they are the champions on the field and will be champions in life.”
Patrick & Henry Community College is the first Virginia Community College school to gain an automatic bid into the NJCAA National Soccer Championships.
“This community college gave me a chance to continue to play the sport I love while getting a quality education,” said Jaden Watson, P&H soccer captain from South Africa. “Coach Murphy offered me a chance to have a home in Martinsville, where I met other brothers that became my family. I will now have the opportunity to continue to play this game I love at a 4-year university next year, an opportunity I may have not had if it weren’t for Patrick & Henry Community College.”
The week-long 2023 NJCAA Division II Soccer National Tournament begins November 12 at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona, hosted by Pima Community College.
To visit Patrick & Henry Community College Soccer team’s eTeamSponsor page, visit eTeamSponsor | Digital Online Fundraising for Teams & Schools.