Photo by S. Paige Allen, Lewis and Clark Community College photographer
Lewis and Clark Community College’s Miriam Taylor (No. 2) maintains possession despite pressure from St. Louis Community College players. Taylor is No. 1 in the nation in goals this week and No. 2 in assists. View more photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lewisandclarkcc/.
GODFREY — The Trailblazers men’s and women’s soccer teams are ranked in the top 20 nationally this week — good news as they prepare for regional playoffs.
In today’s National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll, the women’s team is ranked No. 9 and the men’s team is ranked No. 20.
The men are looking for a return trip to the NJCAA D-I national tourney, and the women are working to get the trip to nationals they barely missed last year.
“There’s a lot of talent on both teams this year and they’ve proven they want to win,” head coach Tim Rooney said. “We just have to keep everyone healthy and focused heading into playoffs. Making top ratings is great, but we can’t get ahead of ourselves. It’s business as usual and one game at a time.”
So far, winning hasn’t been a problem for either team.
The men are 9-3-1 with two games left to play in regular season. They have won three games in a row and eight out of their last nine games.
Goalkeeper Jack Filla is No. 6 in the nation in shutouts and No. 15 in saves. Filla, a sophomore from O’Fallon, Mo., is a graduate of Fort Zumwalt North High School.
The men play at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at Jefferson College and finish their regular season at home against Missouri Baptist JV at 3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20.
They are the No. 2 seed in regional play, which gives them home-field advantage through the first two rounds. Their first post-season game is at noon Saturday, Oct. 25, against either Lincoln or Lincoln Land. A win means another game for the Trailblazers at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29. The final regional game is Nov. 1.
The women just finished their regular season 14-2-1 and are on an eight-game winning streak.
They have several national top-ranked players including Miriam Taylor, a sophomore from Osage Beach, Mo., who is No. 1 in goals with 34 and 92 points. Taylor is No. 2 in assists with 24.
Nicole Howard, a freshman forward/midfielder from Rolla, Mo., is No. 3 in goals with 27 and 69 points. She is tied for No. 3 in assists with 15.
Sophomore midfielder Michelle Pedersen, of Copenhagen, Denmark, is No. 5 with 22 goals and 58 points.
Goalkeeper Rachel Widdicks, of East Yorkshire, United Kingdom, is tied for No. 1 in shutouts.
The women are the No. 3 seed in regional play. Their first game is at home at noon Sunday, Oct. 26, against Illinois Central College. With a win, they play game two away Thursday, Oct. 30. The final regional game is Sunday, Nov. 2.