River soccer squads wrap year with district shutouts

POPLARVILLE — Pearl River Community College’s women’s and men’s soccer squads, the reigning 2012 MACJC and Region 23 champions, wrapped their seasons with shutout losses in their respective NJCAA District H and District P post-season playoff games.

The Lady Wildcats finished their year at 12-3 overall with a 4-0 setback to Brevard CC, the NJCAA No. 1-ranked Division I women’s team, out of Melbourne, Fla., in District H play Saturday in Poplarville; while the Wildcats suffered their first loss of the season with a 1-0 semi-final loss Friday to Paris (Tex.) at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Tex.

Brevard’s Lady Titans improved to 13-1 and hosts Nov. 11-7’s NJCAA National Women’s Tournament.

Paris’ men faced host Tyler, 8-0 winner over Region 23 men’s runner-up Meridian CC on Friday, at 3 p.m. for the District P title (results unavailable) and a berth in Nov. 11-17’s NJCAA National Men’s Tournament on tap at Darton College in Albany, Ga.

In Saturday’s District H contest, Brevard went up 2-0 on back-to-back goals in the first 12 minutes of the game by Courtney Hueston (37:37) and Lois Edwardsson (33:30) before Amanda Lodge booted a third goal 13:31 before the break to give the Lady Titans a 3-0 lead at the intermission.

Brevard scored the game’s final goal at the 38:00 mark of the second half.

Lady Wildcat head coach Jack Byrd applauded his squad.

“We had a heckuva run this year,” Byrd said. “In my opinion, this is the best women’s team this school has ever fielded. I couldn’t be prouder.”

In Friday’s District P semi-final game, Paris’ Alberto Garcia scored the game’s only goal off a free kick midway in the first half.

Wildcat head coach Paul Martin lauded his team’s season.

“When you win state and region titles, there’s not a lot more you can say about a group like this one,” said Martin, who was named Region 23 ‘Coach of the Year’ last weekend. “This (Paris setback) was the first loss of the year and we were in it (game) right until the end.

“This year, for men and women, is something that we can build and build upon. I proud to be a Wildcat.”

Since 1999’s inaugural season of Pearl River soccer, it’s women previously won MACJC state titles in 2005 and 2009, as well as a total of six MACJC South Division championships; while its men were also state champs in 2003 and boast three division crowns. Neither squad had ever won a regional title or a berth in the district playoffs prior to 2012.

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