The first ever season of TMCC Lizards soccer in 2019 saw a number of incredible achievements- the opening of a new field, the welcoming of over 50 new, degree-seeking student-athletes, and a level of on-field success that exceeded expectations. But with a new year also comes new challenges and expectations. After a ten win season for the Men’s squad, a six win season for the Women’s squad, the challenges of a pandemic and a number of new changes and faces, what will the 2021 season look like for the TMCC Lizards?
Men’s Soccer returns nine players from the inaugural 2019 squad, including NJCAA Region XVIII All-Conference honorees Brendin Lane and Erick Ceja-Gonzalez. The TMCC Men also welcome back sophomore midfielder Luis Chavez, the recipient of TMCC Soccer’s inaugural Gonzalo Lopez Memorial Scholarship.
TMCC Women’s Soccer brings back 10 players from last season’s roster, including 2019 Region XVIII All-Conference honoree Isabel Gonzalez and 2019 Offensive Player of the Year Yalison Espinosa.
The New Faces
In total, TMCC welcomes 17 new student-athletes to its Men’s and Women’s soccer teams, with 15 of them coming from Nevada. This season, Men’s Soccer welcomes 13 new student-athletes while Women’s Soccer welcomes four.
Coach Geoff Hawkins
Perhaps the most notable new face for TMCC Soccer is Coach Geoff Hawkins, entering his first season as the head coach of Men’s and Women’s Soccer in 2021. Since joining TMCC in 2020 from the College of Southern Nevada, Hawkins’ leadership has been instrumental in leading both squads through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining productivity as they prepare for a condensed season. Between establishing much needed structure for the student-athletes to maintain their academic performance, continuing TMCC student-athletes’ on-field development, and recruiting talented players to each squad, Hawkins has put in countless hours of preparation for this spring’s season that looks to be very competitive.
Spring 2021 Schedule
The 2021 season will look a bit different as a result of health and safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This spring, the Lizards will play a condensed 10-game conference schedule against its Scenic West opponents starting on April 8 against the College of Southern Nevada and ending on May 14 against Salt Lake Community College.
The regular season will be followed by the NJCAA Region XVIII tournament, scheduled for May 18 and 19 at Zions Bank Stadium (Herriman, UT), and District Championship, scheduled for May 22.
Health and Safety
As they have since last fall, the Lizards will observe strict health and safety protocols as they train, travel, and compete in 2021. Throughout the season, TMCC student-athletes, coaches, and team staff will adhere to the following health and safety protocols:
- Weekly COVID-19 testing
- Requirements for face coverings at all times during team travel and when not actively participating in training or competition
- Limited contact with opposing players, coaches, staff, and fans
- Completed symptom screenings prior to every competition
Student-athletes are being encouraged to pursue immunization as eligibility continues to expand. Any positive test results will be posted to TMCC’s Coronavirus Information and Resources page.
For Fans: How to Watch the Lizards
The Scenic West Athletic Conference has partnered with BlueFrame Technology to make live-streams available for all of its matches this season. Games are available to watch for $8 per match, or users can purchase full-season access to match streams from all Scenic West schools for $35. Check out the Lizards Sports Network for more information.
It is anticipated that fans will be permitted to attend TMCC home matches at some point this season under strict guidelines for physical distancing and requirements for face-coverings.
TMCC Athletics is carefully monitoring state, local, and institutional guidelines, as well as evaluating its own ability to safely accommodate fans and enforce health and safety protocols.
A New Mighty Lizard
This season, Mighty the Lizard will join TMCC as the official mascot for its athletic teams. While similar to TMCC’s official campus mascot, Wizard the Lizard, Mighty will sport TMCC Soccer’s uniform kit, and have an improved ability to interact with players and fans at soccer matches and campus events.