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Trailblazers Men’s Soccer to Move Forward with Seasoned Players Led by New Coach

Article by: Jan Dona, L&C Media Services,

GODFREY –  Although the Trailblazers men’s soccer team ended their playoff run with a 2-1 loss to Parkland College in the Region 24 semifinals, there were many positives in their 12-5-1 season.

Sophomore defenseman Darcy Madden, of Wollongong, Australia, was named third-team All-American by the United Soccer Coaches (USC). He also picked up placement on the All-Region 24 first team, where he was named Defensive Player of the Year.

Madden led a tight Trailblazers defense that logged six shutouts, three of which were consecutive. He also contributed a pair of goals and three assists.

“Darcy definitely deserved this award,” Coach Ryan Hodge said. “No matter the opponent, he was always one of the better players on the field, if not the best.”

Hodge credits Madden’s understanding of the game and leadership skills for helping to guide a young team through a successful season.

Madden wasn’t the only Trailblazer earning recognition for his efforts. Morapeli Lesoesta, a freshman forward from Maseru, Lesotho, was named to the All-Region 24 first team. Rhys Saunders, a sophomore from Gold Coast, Australia, and P.J. Amponsah, a freshman mid-fielder from Ontario, Canada, both earned spots on the All-Region 24 second team.

Long-time Head Coach Tim Rooney, who logged more than 400 wins each with the Trailblazers men’s and women’s soccer teams, retired Nov. 30. His replacement is former assistant coach Hodge.

“Men’s soccer has been such a great program for a long time here at Lewis and Clark, and I am very excited to get the 2018 season going,” Hodge said, expressing his thanks to Vice President of Student Engagement Sean Hill and Athletic Director Doug Stotler for the opportunity.

“Ryan Hodge is going to be a ‘Blazer success story,” Stotler said, noting Hodge’s intelligence and the opportunity he had to learn under Rooney. “I’m confident Ryan Hodge has the foundation necessary to successfully guide our men’s soccer program.”