Clements' team ends season with win over Bryant &Stratton
WINNERS n Members of the MCC Eagles cheer their teammates during the Bryant &Stratton game. Photo by Austin Bishop/The Meridian Star
By Austin Bishop/The Meridian Star
TYLER, Texas Meridian Community College soccer coach Steve Clements is usually a composed man.
That composure was nowhere to be found Sunday afternoon after his MCC Eagles defeated Bryant &Stratton 2-0 in the finals of the NJCAA 2000 Division I Men's Soccer Tournament.
Clements raced across the field at Tyler Junior College and jumped onto the pile of Eagles wallowing in the mud that was once the playing surface of Pat Hartley Field.
The Eagles completed their run through postseason play with the convincing win over the No. 3-ranked team in the country in front of a partisan crowd.
The team enjoyed its victory for nearly 30 minutes after the final horn, as the Eagles were joined on the field by fans who had traveled from Meridian to watch the title game.
The players nearly began celebrating with seven minutes left in the game, when Andrew McLeod scored the clinching goal, putting the Eagles ahead by two.
The players had said going into the National Tournament that anything less than a National Championship would not be satisfying.
MCC won its tourney opener over Essex (N.J.) College 4-1 on Thursday, and followed that up with a convincing 3-1 win over Springfield College in Illinois in a game where the Eagles outshot their opponents 25-4.
The Eagles then took on by far their strongest foe in the eight-team event the Bobcats of Bryant &Stratton.
Austin Bishop is a sports correspondent for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.