River wins women’s, men’s MACJC soccer crowns

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POPLARVILLE — Pearl River Community College won an unprecedented two soccer championships in a single day after the Wildcats and Lady Wildcats were victorious in their respective title bouts in the MACJC State Tournament here Sunday.

The tournament hosted PRCC men, the South Division’s No. 1 seed, defeated North No. 1 Holmes 4-2; while the South No. 2 PRCC women shut out South No. 1 Jones County 2-0.

Both Pearl River squads and Holmes earned berths in next weekend’s Region XXIII Tournament at Meridian CC in Meridian. PRCC and HCC’s men will play for the regional title, while PRCC’s women will take on host MCC’s women. The regional winners earn berths in their respective upcoming NJCAA National Tournaments set for Albany, Ga. (men) and Melbourne, Fla. (women).

In the women’s title game, things were scoreless for most of the first half until The River’s Karly Mitchell of Poplarville High booted a goal off an assist by Christina Gentry of Horn Lake High in the with 3:34 left before the intermission.

Pearl River maintained its one-goal lead until Kacy Mixon out of East Central High in Hurley scored at the 39:30 mark of the second half.

JCJC’s women swept PRCC during the regular season with a 3-2 victory Sept. 22 in Poplarville before taking a 2-0 shutout win Oct. 16 in Ellisville which clinched the South Division crown and the No. 1 women’s seed.

The Lady Wildcats improved to 11-2 overall, while the previously-unbeaten Lady Bobcats fell to 12-1-1.

PRCC’s women defeated North No. 1 Hinds 5-0 in Saturday’s semi-finals, while JCJC pulled off a double-overtime thriller over North No. 2 Itawamba.

The men’s title game was scoreless for the first 20-plus minutes until the Wildcats’ Mike Allizzo of Ocean Springs High scored at the 22:20 mark of the first half. A minute-and-a-half later, Austin Douglas of Gulfport High scored on a header to make it 2-0 Pearl River.

Holmes cut the Wildcats’ lead to one with a goal at the 12:03 mark, but Garrett Head of Oak Grove High scored with 34 seconds left before the intermission off an Allizzo assists to take a 3-1 lead at the break.

For the first 30 minutes of the second half, that score remained intact, but Hunter Warren kicked a goal to pull the Bulldogs to within one at 3-2 with 14:40 left in the game. Douglas iced the victory with 2:13 left with the game’s final score.

PRCC’s men trimmed North No. 2 East Central 2-0 in Saturday’s semi-finals, while HCC was a 1-0 victor over South No. 2 Jones County.

Jack Byrd is coach of the Pearl River women’s team, while Paul Martin coaches the men.