UHV signs local talent for inaugural soccer program
|Five Victoria-area soccer players sign on Wednesday to play in the fall with the first University of Houston-Victoria Jaguars soccer teams. Seated, from left, are Stacie Garcia and Courtney Day, and standing, from left, are Mark Rojas, Seth Prochaska and Stiven Ospina.|
The University of Houston-Victoria men’s and women’s soccer program signed their initial class of five local recruits on Thursday.
The local signees include goalkeeper Seth Prochaska, forward Stiven Ospina and forward Mark Rojas on the men’s side, along with Courtney Day and defender Stacie Garcia on the women’s team. Prochaska and Ospina graduated from Memorial, while Rojas and Day are 2010 MHS graduate candidates. Garcia will be a 2010 St. Joseph graduate.
“I’m excited about the local products that will be representing UHV on the soccer field beginning in August,” UHV Athletics Director Ashley Walyuchow said.
“The soccer community in Victoria and the Golden Crescent is buzzing with anticipation for our upcoming season and that should result in big crowds at our home games this fall.”
Prochaska, a standout at Memorial, transfers from Centenary where he played three games for the Gents in 2008 season. In his short time for the Gents, he allowed three goals and had 10 saves.
“Seth is a very confident and athletic keeper with good distribution,” UHV soccer coach Adrian Rigby said. “He will be in the mix for the starting spot in goal.”
Prochaska was a four-year letter winner at Memorial and was named district Defensive MVP twice. He was also named Crossroads Tournament MVP in 2006 and 2007 and was also a unanimous first team all-district award winner in 2007.
“I get to come back and play with a couple of guys I played with before and am looking forward to the opportunity,” Prochaska said.
On the club level, he was a member of the Texas State Olympic Development Program in 2006 and 2007. Prochaska also helped his Texas Heat team to the U17 South Texas State Championship in 2007.
Ospina was a three-time all-district first team pick while at Memorial as well as Co-MVP. “Stiven is a talented forward that has the ability to score goals in bunches,” said Rigby. “He has great tools and will be part of a strong group of forwards.”
Rojas, a forward/outside midfielder, earned first-team all-district honors with the Vipers.
“I have seen Mark play several times with his high school team and have been impressed by his ability to play several positions,” said Rigby. “He will challenge for some time up front and out wide.”
Day was a four-year varsity soccer player and plays club soccer with Victoria Heat. Day also played volleyball in high school.
“It’s very exciting and I love the environment,” Day said of being one of the first soccer signees.
“Courtney is a very good athlete and has the ability to come in and play several positions,” Rigby said. “Her pace and aggressiveness is a strong attribute.”
Garcia was a solid player for the Lady Flyers and also plays for the Victoria Heat soccer club. She also participated in softball, basketball and cheerleading at St. Joseph.
“Stacie is a solid defender that will bring a physical component to the UHV back line,” Rigby said. “I am looking for her to come in and compete for playing time as a freshman.”
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.