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Voters Ignore L&C, Despite Win Over Ranked Crowder

Article by: Pete Hayes, the Telegraph,

GODFREY —Lewis and Clark Community College mens’ soccer coach Ryan Hodge is a bit perplexed.

Perplexed, but not in the least upset.

Hodge, whose 4-2 Trailblazers are riding a four-game winning streak, pulled off a thrilling player-short overtime victory over Crowder College Friday in Godfrey.

Make that 10th-ranked Crowder College.

But despite the victory and winning streak, the Trailblazers are nowhere to be found in this week’s NJCAA Division I national men’s soccer rankings.

“I thought we’d probably get votes or maybe even be ranked somewhere,” Hodge said, “but nothing. Not even any votes.

“But it really doesn’t bother me,” Hodge said. “I’d rather have us play as an unranked team and not get as much attention. We know how good we are.”

Monroe College of New York (5-0) is ranked No. 1 this week, with Tyler, Texas ranked No. 2 at 6-0.

Against Crowder, Tony Bodul, assisted by Reshaun Walkes, scored the game winner in the 105th minute on the second overtime.

The Trailblazers led Crowder 2-0 early in the second half before L&C’s Zane Rowles received a red card, meaning his team played a man down the rest of the way. Crowder’s Danny Maldonado scored a pair of goals to force overtime.

L&C’s first two goals were scored by Luke Mellon and Kaleb Bassett.

There were also eight yellow cards shown in the game, including five to Crowder.

L&C outshot Crowder 10-8, while Crowder had a 6-4 edge in corner kicks.

The Trailblazers started the season with losses to nationally ranked Marshalltown, Iowa (4-2) and Iowa Lakes (5-4).

L&C will step back into Region 24 play Wednesday in its Region 24 opener at Lincoln Land. And at 11 am. Saturday, the Trailblazers will play host to Heartland College of Bloomington, which received votes in this week’s poll, despite losing Saturday to Iowa Lakes 5-1. Heartland is 4-1 overall and 2-0 in Region 24.

“Heartland could be the team to beat this year,” Hodge said. “They’re pretty tough. We’ll have to come ready to play on both Wednesday and Saturday.”

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