MCC Eagles lose tough one
By By Thomas Burton / special to The Star
Nov. 2, 2002
Whoever penned the lyrics, " one is the loneliest number" knew what they were talking about.
The Meridian Community College Men's soccer team on a quest for the Region 23 title of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges(MACJC) came up one goal short to lose in first round action against foe Hinds Community College 1-0.
The last time these programs bumped heads the game ended in a 0-0 tie. With the playoffs on the line somebody had to score.
Meridian's keeper Chris Duncan put together a highlight reel against Hinds keeping his team alive with seven saves.
The first block came early with 41:30 on the clock as Allan Lannoy made the first attempt at goal for Hinds.
MCC attempted to score three minutes later on a pass by Brandon Rodgers to Brian Stringer whose kick sailed high of the goal.
Lannoy made his presence felt again after receiving a long kick from Josh Sheppard that caused Duncan to leave the goal box. Duncan took care of business to keep the game scoreless.
Someone that never showed quit was Meridian's Andrew Culpepper. Culpepper led a march downfield to give MCC an opportunity. Chase Keely lended a hand passing to Brian Bledsoe. Bledsoe's header failed to score with under 21:00 minutes left in the first period.
Other outstanding play for MCC came courtesy of Benton Dufour. He made some headway against Eric Hall with a pass to Josh Murphy. Murphy's kick found Culpepper and Rodgers near the goal but no one scored.
For Hinds Lannoy was making the noise. He scorched passed Troy Webb and Murphy. His pass attempt was unsuccessfully, as the block by Webb reflected off a header by Lannoy that was no good.
Meridian finished out the period with Rodgers, Culpepper, and Dufour looking for openings but none were available. They fought hard but HInds kept the inside of the field sealed.
To end the period for HCC Lannoy pushed up field again but his shot this time cleared the right of the goal. The score remained 0-0.
Hinds tough defensive play carried on into the 2nd period. MCC was not allowed any shots near the goal. Early on the only attempts came on corner kicks.
With 38:24 on the clock Murphy kicked a long one to Stringer, the keeper got to the ball early as Hinds held MCC again.
HCC's Josh Sheppard served up a threat with a pass to Colin Edwards. His kick was to high as both teams looked like they were going into overtime, with just under 30 minutes to go.
The fighting Eagles of Meridian didn't slow down. Culpepper hustled against Steven Meniglio. Brain Bledsoe retrieved to pass from Culpepper to find Dufour. He passed to Rodgers but Tom Rush forced a pass back to Culpepper who then kicked the ball out of bounds.
With the game still scoreless Lannoy was sure that he would score but Duncan was there with his biggest block of the day.
Time expired to 21:19, as Lannoy got the only score of the day. Michael Thornton help set up the play that caused Duncan to be all alone as Lannoy's kick went through for the score 1-0.
MCC never got an open but continued to press on. Duncan made another huge stop against Mendez with help from Murphy.
Rodgers with just under nine minutes left found daylight but his kick flew wide right, keeping Hinds ahead for the win 1-0.
Hinds remains undefeated as they advance to play the winner of Northwest Community College against Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College for the Region 23 championship.
Meridian ends the season, as the future remains promising.