CONTACT: Luke Brymer, Sports Information Assistant, Wallace State Community College, firstname.lastname@example.org, 256/352-8231
HANCEVILLE, Ala.- The Wallace State-Hanceville soccer team has three members in the NJCAA rankings. Forwards Justin Pino and Antonio Cabello are ranked in the scoring category while Chazz Romeo holds a spot in the goalkeeping category.
Pino, a sophomore from Birmingham, is the No. 4 scorer in the nation with 25 goals, 11 assists and 61 points overall. He has been playing soccer since he was three years old and was a standout at John Carroll High School. Pino said much of his success comes from off-season work and lots of practice. ?Justin works hard, is very skilled and puts everything together well,? head coach Barry Spitzer said. ?He plays well with the team and works with them to create opportunities.?
?I have a shoot first, pass second mentality when I bring the ball down their field,? Pino said. ?If the open shot is there, I take it. However, if I don?t have a clear shot, my first thought is a pass. Without a team effort and working together to win games, scoring goals and the leading the nation wouldn?t even matter. I want the team to succeed.?
Spitzer added, ?Justin is a team player and is always looking for his teammates. His team attitude adds to his success.?
Lions? forward Antonio Cabello has claimed the 15th spot in the nation for scoring as he has scored 15 goals and added 16 assists to have 46 points overall. He is from Spain and has been playing the game of soccer since he was six.
Cabello said American soccer is a bit different than that of Spain. ?It is much more offensive here. In Spain I was used to moving the ball more rather than attacking. This is my first time to play for an American school and the style of play has been the main difference.?
He said his teammates have accepted him and he feels they are very connected as a group. ?I really appreciate the way the guys have helped me understand things and become one of the team. I really play soccer with a great group of guys. We?ve had a few misunderstandings with things like the language differences and remembering names, but they have been very helpful.?
Spitzer said Cabello, ?sees the field and has great vision. He is very skilled and acts as a catalyst in the game because he makes things happen. Antonio is truly a team player and his and Pino?s styles complement each other, which has contributed to their success together.?
Cabello also said his philosophy is to look for the player who is in the best position to score. ?It doesn?t matter to me who gets the goal. I just want the team to win the game rather than me getting points. Justin and I look for ways to help the team win. Our desire is to make the team successful. Justin is big and strong and makes long runs while I look for ways to get the ball to him. We have different styles of play and we really complete each other.?
Goalkeeper Chazz Romeo, a freshman from Vestavia, has played soccer for 15 years, but has only been in the goal for seven. He was also the keeper through his high school career at Vestavia High School. ?As a freshman, Chazz has done a great job for us,? Spitzer said. ?He has really only made a few freshman mistakes and has developed well over the season. He is learning to adjust to the college style of play.? Romeo is ranked ninth in goalkeeping with 91 saves in 14 games. He has shut out opponents 11 times this season and has not given up a goal in the last six games.
Romeo said his success is really that of his defenders. ?My defense has been perfect this year and I couldn?t ask for anything more than to just keep doing what they are doing. Their performance this season is the reason that I?m ranked and I give them credit for that. I try to do what the coaches say and play on my instincts.?
The Lions (13-2-1) are in preparation for their southeastern district semi-final match against Hiawassee Community College on October 27 at 1:30 pm.
For more information about Wallace State soccer, visit www.wallacestate.edu.