From left, Nicole Howard, Miriam Taylor, Melvin Becket and Jack Filla.
GODFREY — Lewis and Clark Community College soccer players Miriam Taylor, Nicole Howard, Melvin Becket and Jack Filla were named All-Americans by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) this past week.
Taylor, a sophomore from Osage Beach, Mo., was named NJCAA First Team All-American, NSCAA First Team All-American, 2014 NJCAA Region 24 Most Valuable Player and First Team All-Region.
She led the nation in scoring this year with 37 goals and was second with 24 assists.
“Being named first team is a real honor,” said Taylor, an accounting major and 2013 graduate of Camdenton, Mo., High School.
“I’ve enjoyed playing soccer at Lewis and Clark very much and it is hard to think about leaving, but I’m looking forward to playing at a university next year.”
Taylor led the No. 16 nationally ranked Trailblazers women’s team as they defeated Parkland 1-0 in the NJCAA Region 24 semifinal.
The women’s team finished 16-2-2 and lost the regional championship game to Southwestern Illinois College in overtime sudden death PKs.
Head Coach Tim Rooney said Taylor already has several offers from universities and will be a great asset wherever she plays.
“Not only is Miriam a great soccer player, she is a leader on and off the field,” Rooney said.
Nicole Howard, a freshman from Rolla, Mo., was named NSCAA First Team All-American, First Team All-Region, and was one of the top scorers in the nations — ranking No. 4 in points, No. 6 in goals and No. 7 in assists.
“Nicole is a great and very talented player, and we will be glad to have her back on our team next year,” Rooney said.
Becket, a sophomore from Sunshine, Victoria, Australia, was named NJCAA Second Team All-American for the second consecutive year and NSCAA First Team All-American. Becket also was named to the NJCAA All-Region Team and earned Midfielder of the Year for Region 24.
A former Melbourne Victory youth player, Becket received the NJCAA Division I All Region and Region 24 Player of the Year last season and led his team on a trip to nationals for the first time since 1989.
As one of the team captains this year, he led The Trailblazers with 13 goals and seven assists into post-season play, where they lost the first round of the NJCAA Region 24 tournament to Lincoln 1-2 and finished the season 10-5-1.
“I’m proud to receive this honor,” Becket said. “I’ve enjoyed my time playing at Lewis and Clark and going to nationals last year. I am now looking forward to playing here in the states for a university.”
Head Soccer Coach Tim Rooney said Becket is very deserving of the recognition.
“Melvin is one of the most talented and hardest-working players I’ve coached. He always gives 110 percent and is an inspiration and leader to his team,” Rooney said.
Jack Filla, a sophomore goalkeeper from O’Fallon, Mo., was named NSCAA Second Team All-American, First Team All-Region and Region 24 Goalkeeper of the Year.
“Jack is an amazing talent,” Rooney said. “He is one of the best goalkeepers in our area and one of the best I’ve ever coached.”
Trailblazers sophomore Michelle Pedersen, from Copenhagen, Denmark, finished the season ranked No. 12 in goals in the nation and was named member of the All-Region Team and Third MVP.
Brooke Coakely, of Granite City, was first in the nation with 29 assists and received All-Region Honorable Mention, as did Kaley Hill of Florissant, Mo., and Claire Skaggs of St. Charles, Mo.
Connor Clasby of Florissant, Mo., and Justin Stoddart, of Ontario, Canada, received All-Region Honorable Mention.