Snow soccer teams prepare for first skirmish Aug. 22
By Matthew Harris
EPHRAIM—Practice has already begun for the inaugural season of Snow College men’s and women’s soccer.
Under the direction of head coach Nuno Gourgel, the teams are ushering in a new chapter in Snow College sports as preseason play begins on Aug. 22, with both teams facing Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo.
“So far, it’s been great,” Gourgel said. “I think Snow College has an opportunity to be a great [soccer] program here. I’m grateful to be here. We appreciate the local support, and we’ve got a bunch of good kids here.”
Coach Gourgel was announced as head coach by Snow College Athletic Director Rob Nielson on March 9, 2016.
“We’re pleased to have Nuno lead our new soccer programs here at Snow College,” Nielson said. “He brings a great deal of playing and coaching experience to the job. In addition, through his playing and coaching career, he has built a vast scouting network that will be useful in helping to build the soccer programs here at Snow.”
Before coming to Snow, Gourgel was first assistant for soccer programs at Arizona Christian University. He is currently serving as the goalkeeper coach for a professional team in in Midland, Texas, and as the head coach for the Phoenix Rush Football Club in Phoenix, Ariz.
“So far, it’s been great,” Gourgel said. “I think Snow College has an opportunity to be a great [soccer] program here. I’m grateful to be here.”
The players of both teams have gelled well with their head coach, as Ally Beeston, center defender for the women’s team, can attest.
“I think he’s awesome,” Beeston said. “He’s really helped me to become a better player, and he really does know what he’s talking about in making us better players and a better team.”
Men’s team captain, Ulises Acosta, said, “Our coaches are amazing. They push us, they work us hard, and they definitely know what they’re doing. I have a lot of faith in Coach [Gourgel]. I’m really confident in all of our coaches.”
The teams are looking to establish chemistry quickly, Acosta said. They are comprised of 54 players, 24 women and 30 men, representing four continents, all coming together for the very first time. Four members of the women’s team are from Manti High School. Of the 54 players, 22 are on scholarship this year.
One of the former Templars, Mackayla Cox, forward on the Snow women’s team said, “Being a new team, we weren’t sure how it was going to be. Now that we’ve practiced for a week together, we already feel like we’ve been together for months. I feel like we’re going to have a good season.”
“It’s exciting for these kids to have this opportunity and for our student body to be able to watch soccer and have it be a part of us,” Nielson said. “As the coaches continue to recruit we think we’ll become a leader in the conference and hopefully a national power.”
The first set of home games will be Sept. 23 against Salt Lake Community College.