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Men's Soccer Defeats Lincoln 3-2 to Win Region Championship

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Article by: Paige Allen, pallen@lc.edu
GODFREY - Last year they came close. This year they clinched it. 

The men's soccer team won the NJCAA Division I Region 24 Championship title today 3-2 over Lincoln at Lewis and Clark.
 
With today's win, the Trailblazers now play in the NJCAA Central District Championship game next Saturday at noon against Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Mo. The winner earns a spot in the national playoffs in Texas.
 
"One game at a time," Head Coach Tim Rooney reminded his team. "We aren't thinking ahead any more than that right now. We are playing well and so is Jefferson so it will be a competitive game."
 
In today's game, the Lynx scored first with 24 minutes on the clock, but Lewis and Clark's Didrik Rinde answered with an unassisted goal to tie the game.
 
During the second half, the Lynx scored with 33 minutes on the clock, but the rest of the goals belonged to the Trailblazers.
 
Justin Stoddart, a freshman midfielder from Ontario, Canada, scored with an assist from Melvin Beckett to again tie the game.
 
Then, with six minutes left, sophomore Jeffrey Cameron, of Florissant, scored with an assist from Rinde.
 
Coach Rooney said today was a big win for his men's team. The men's soccer team last won a regional championship in 2004.  
 
Last year, the Trailblazers lost in the regional semifinal, and in 2006 the men's team lost in the final round.
 
"I'm really proud of these men. They persisted and played hard today against a good team," Rooney said.
 
After the game, the Trailblazers, Lynx and other Region 24 players and coaches were honored during a brief ceremony.
 
Trailblazer Melvin Beckett received All Region Player and Region 24 Player of the Year.
 
"This is such a great feeling. I'm honored and very happy," said Beckett, a freshman forward from Victoria, Australia.
 
Lewis and Clark Goalkeeper Jack Filla, a freshman from O'Fallon, Mo., received All Region Player and Goalkeeper of the Year.
 
Sophomores Jordan Pratte, of Florissant, and Didrik Rinde, of Lillehammer, Norway, both received All Region Player awards.