Sports & Recreation
Cobras Battle Through Semi-Final and Earn Birth in Region 24 Championship
The Parkland College Men’s Soccer team outlasted visiting Lewis and Clark 2-1 on Wednesday afternoon to advance into the Region 24 finals. The Cobras (14-4) will take on the winner of tonight’s Illinois Central versus Lincoln game scheduled for 6:00 in East Peoria. If ICC wins, Parkland will travel to ICC for a 12:00 match on Saturday afternoon. If Lincoln wins, Parkland will host the Lynx on Saturday.
With the field extremely wet after the rains of the last three days, both teams struggled early on with their traction but it would be the Cobras who would strike first as Jesus Reina found the back of the net off a perfect pass from Zach Gowlett midway thru the first half. Just over a minute later, PC committed a foul in the box and the Blazers were awarded a penalty kick. L&C’s Rhys Saunders buried his kick into the bottom left corner to tie the match with 23 minutes left on the clock. Neither team could convert for the remainder of the half and the score remained 1-1 headed into the break.
Chances were few early in the second half until Chen Levine got around a defender and snuck the ball just past the Lewis and Clark keeper to give PC the lead again with 31:25 remaining. Parkland would control the action for much of the final 30 minutes as Lewis and Clark could not break free. PC finished the afternoon with twelve shots on goal to just four for the visitors. Lewis and Clark ends their season at (11-5-1) suffering two 2-1 defeats at the hands of the Cobras. The loss also ended the Hall of Fame career of long time Lewis and Clark Men’s and Women’s Coach Tim Rooney who is retiring at the end of this season. Rooney ends his Men’s career after 31 years and a record of 409-225-34. His Women’s team is still alive however and will host ICC at 2:00 on Thursday. A win would put them in the Region 24 title game against the winner of tomorrow’s SWIC and Parkland match. Rooney, who started the Blazer Women’s program in 1993, has a record of 419-100-22 over the last 24 seasons. His combined record for the two teams is an impressive 828-325-56.
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