The Thunderducks have done it again, winning their 8th Division III NJCAA Championship, their 2nd in a row, and third in four years with the 2-1 victory over Herkimer. This is the first title for new Thunderducks head coach Raul Herrera.
Both clubs came into the match undefeated although Herkimer was enjoying home-field advantage at their own Wehrum Stadium.
Richland’s Toi Yamaoka opened the scoring on an assist by Takayoshi Wyatt 18 minutes into the match. Herkimer’s Mupenzi Irakiza tied the match at one, but it wasn’t enough as Alvaro Tudanca won it for the Thunderducks with a 90th-minute penalty kick.
Herrera, who is also FC Dallas’ Academy Goalkeeper Coach, took over the Thundeduck program midseason after serving as an assistant coach for the last six years. Herrera also played for Richland’s 2006 Championship team.
Takayoshi Wyatt and Mariano Fazio were named Offensive Tournament MVP and Overall Tournament MVP.