Coach Cris Trillo and the Joliet Junior College men’s soccer team won their 100th game since the program started on Sept. 20 against Harper College, with a score of 3-0. Each season contains 15-17 games and lasts from the pre-season in August until the playoffs in November.
Trillo, also an English and world languages professor at JJC, has been playing soccer his entire life. He enjoys coaching for JJC because he gets to be active and in the field with the camaraderie of his team and his former-player-turned-assistant-coach, Angel Contreras.
Since he began with the team, Trillo said he’s gained experience, learned from his mistakes, and matured as a coach. One important thing he’s learned is that he can influence his players both athletically and academically. Trillo always tells his players that school should be their first priority – that’s the reason they’re at JJC in the first place.
“I tell them they should take playing soccer as just a bonus and an addition to academics,” he said. “Their academics is their priority, it will take them further. And then I tell them to enjoy soccer as much as they can. This is an opportunity that many people don’t have.”
Trillo’s main goal for JJC’s soccer team is to get them to the national championship, even if they don’t advance.
“It will bring another experience that will help us eventually win a national championship,” Trillo added.
The JJC soccer team has been to the regional championship twice, in 2006 and 2007. Both times, they advanced to the district playoffs, but never any further. Since the 100th win last week, Trillo and his team have won two more games, and are nearing the end of their season. This year’s team has a record of six wins, two losses, and one tie.
The last home game of the season will be against one JJC’s biggest rivals, Triton College, on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 4 p.m. After that, the men’s soccer team will play two more regular season games before entering the playoffs.
For more information about the men’s soccer team, visit www.jjc.edu/student-life/athletics/mens-soccer.