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No Hill for a Climber: L&C Defeats Hill College in Pool Play at NJCAA Championships

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Article by: By Louise Jett, ljett@lc.edu
GODFREY – During its first game of pool play at the NJCAA Division I National Championship Tournament, Lewis and Clark Community College men’s soccer team toppled Hill College from Hillsboro, Texas, 2-1.

Trailblazer Lochlan Reus passed the ball to Blake Cearns, who scored the golden goal in overtime play. Reus scored the first goal of the game with a direct kick following a Hill foul on Cearns, during the first half. Rues also assisted Cearns on the winning goal.

Soon after, the team rushed the field to celebrate their win.

“I was relieved to see the ball hit the net,” Cearns said. “It felt really good to celebrate with everyone after they rushed the field.”

While the Trailblazers were ahead 1-0 most of the game, Hill College’s Chris Escalera scored with less than 2 minutes remaining, forcing the game into overtime. This was the only goal to get past L&C goalie Nick Johnson, who repeatedly made great saves stopping Hill from scoring.

Hill was very aggressive, and the game featured five yellow cards and 22 fouls.

Reus and Cearns are both freshman from Australia. Reus is leading the nation with 22 assists and has scored 20 goals on the season, while Cearns is top ten nationally with 25 goals and 5 assists.  

“I am very pleased with the way the guys played,” Assistant Coach Ryan Hodge said. “For most of the game we were able to play our game, move the ball and create scoring chances. Although we need to do a better job on finishing our chances. This team really showed their mental toughness after giving up a late goal and coming back to win it in overtime. Now we will focus on getting ready for a very good Pima team.”

L&C will play its second and final pool game at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, against Pima Community College from Tucson, Arizona. Pima lost to Hill in its first game of pool play. The outcome of Wednesday’s match will determine play going forward.

The National Tournament games will be streamed via www.njcaatv.com, and updates will be posted daily at www.lc.edu/athletics. For more information about the Tournament, visit www.njcaasoccer.com.