News

Rizzi’s “Hat Trick” Caps off Regular-Season Finale in Style [October 16, 2014]

PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill. --- The one thing that the Prairie State College men’s soccer team didn’t want to do coming in the wake of a heart-wrenching 3-2 defeat to Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference foe Oakton on Tuesday was to enter the NJCAA Region IV playoffs on anything less than a high note.

Sophomore forward Roger Rizzi (Luiza Santin H.S., Brazil) made sure that he and his teammates would enter post-season play brimming with confidence.

Rizzi tallied a trio of goals in Thursday’s regular-season finale against the Trinity Christian JV, helping lift the Pioneers to 5-2 triumph over the Trolls in Palos Heights.

For Rizzi, the “hat trick” was the first of his collegiate career and it helped spark his teammates on an otherwise dreary, wet and blustery afternoon on the pitch.

“We didn’t want to go into the postseason with a bad taste in our mouths after a real tough match at Oakton,” PSC head coach David Spataru said. “The hat trick was great for Roger and he’s really starting to play well after suffering some injuries earlier this year.”

With the win, PSC bumped its overall record to a stellar 11-5-2.

The Pioneers are assured one of the top four seeds in the region and will host a yet-to-be-determined opponent at Bloom High School in Chicago Heights in an October 25 NJCAA Region IV second-round playoff tilt (12 p.m.).

PSC came out possessing the ball heavily in Trinity Christians’ half of the pitch before Rizzi accepted a strong pass off the foot of freshman defender Omar Reyna Farje (Shepard H.S.) and ripped it into the back of the net in the 29th minute.

Freshman midfielder Carlos Gallardo (Sterling H.S.) tallied a pair of goals in the match, registering his first in the 40th when he gave PSC a 2-0 edge after he punched a shot past the Trolls’ goalkeeper, following a flurry of activity in front of the net after a corner kick.

Trinity Christian took a goal back in the 46th, cutting the Prairie State advantage to 2-1.

Gallardo answered back 21 minutes later when he took in a pass from sophomore defender Josh Horne (Newcastle-Under-Lyme H.S., England) and put a strong move on a Trolls defender in the box and blasted an attempt past the keeper.

Rizzi gave the Pioneers a 4-1 edge in the 77th when he cut loose a left-footed rocket, courtesy of an assist by freshman midfielder Luka Milcic (Civil Engineering School, Serbia) which found the back of the net.

After the Trolls had picked up another tally in the 78th, Rizzi snuck a penalty kick past the keeper in the 84th to close the scoring.

 

Oakton Clips Pioneers in Stormy Battle [October 14, 2014]

DES PLAINES, Ill. --- Despite a valiant effort in less-than-ideal conditions, the Prairie State College men’s soccer team fell to Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference rival Oakton, 3-2 Tuesday afternoon.

The loss drops the Pioneers’ overall record to 10-5-2 with a league mark of 4-2-1.

Prairie State was without the services of sophomore forward Mamadou Ba (United Township H.S.) and freshman forward Alejandro Mendez (Bremen H.S.), who were both out of the lineup due to injury.

The Pioneers fell into a 2-0 hole after just ten minutes of play.

After becoming adjusted to an extremely soggy and flooded pitch, PSC jumped on the board in the 35th minute when freshman forward Bryan Leon (Kelly H.S.) utilized a pass off the foot of sophomore defender Josh Horne (Newcastle-Under-Lyme H.S., England) and fired a shot which reached the back of the net.

Freshman forward Roger Rizzi (Luiza Santin H.S., Brazil) beat the Oakton goalkeeper with an unassisted tally in the 42nd to knot the match.

PSC sophomore keeper Jose Maya (Kelly H.S.) made seven saves in another stellar outing between the posts.

The Pioneers will be in action next on Thursday when they travel to Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights (3:30 p.m.).

 

Ba Stars as Pioneers Roll Past Milwaukee Tech [October 10, 2014]

Mamadou Ba
Sophomore Mamadou Ba recorded his
second "hat trick" of the season in
Friday's win over Milwaukee Tech.

When Prairie State College sophomore forward Mamadou Ba (United Township H.S.) unleashed a ferociously-long blast in the 10th minute of the Pioneers’ nonconference showdown against Milwaukee Tech Friday and buried it into the back of the net, he probably figured he was in for a pretty good day.

He was definitely correct in that assessment.

Ba would go on to record two more tallies in the tilt, leading his team to a decisive 5-3 victory over the Stormers at blustery Bloom High School in Chicago Heights.

The “hat trick” was Ba’s second of the campaign and pushed his squad-leading total to 14.

Friday’s triumph moved the Pioneers’ overall mark to 10-4-2 and was the 240th of head coach David Spataru’s career.

“This was a good win for us today in the sense that we were able to experiment with some different combinations and we were able to get everybody into the game, which of course is very important with the playoffs looming not far off,” Spataru said. “The conditions were cold and because of that the field was hard today, so it was difficult to control the ball, but our guys did a nice job of handling all of that.”

Ba’s aforementioned first tally, which came courtesy of an assist from freshman forward Roger Rizzi (Luiza Santin H.S., Brazil) gave PSC a 1-0 advantage.

Ba made it a 2-0 match in the 21st when he sprinted past an unsuspecting Milwaukee Tech goalkeeper, taking the ball right off his foot before popping it into the goal for an unassisted tally.

Freshman midfielder Javier Garcia (Bishop Noll H.S., Ind.) made it a 3-0 contest in the 35th when he rocketed a ball into a nearly-vacated net.

Ba capped off his impressive offensive display in the 45th on a chip-in, courtesy of a helper off the foot of freshman forward Mike Nykaza (T.F. South H.S.).

PSC went into the intermission with a 4-1 lead.

Freshman forward Bryan Leon (Kelly H.S.) continued his fine first season of collegiate play with his ninth tally of the slate in the 55th.

The Stormers scored twice in the contest’s final 30 minutes.

The Pioneers will now take on Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference rival Oakton on Tuesday in Des Plaines (4 p.m.).

 

Pioneers Snap Two-Match Winless Streak With Triumph Over Malcolm X [October 9, 2014]

Collin McLaughlin
Colin McLaughlin recorded his third
goal of the season in Thursday's
3-1 win over Malcolm X.

With its last two games resulting in a 4-2 setback to Kennedy-King and 2-2 draw with Elgin, it was certainly safe to say that the Prairie State College men’s soccer team was eager to get back to its winning ways.

This was obvious in the way that the Pioneers attacked and hustled their way to a solid 3-1 triumph over Malcom X Thursday afternoon at Bloom High School in Chicago Heights.

The triumph assures PSC of securing a winning season for the eight consecutive campaign under the guidance of head coach David Spataru.

The win now pushed the Pioneers to a 9-4-2 overall record.

Prairie State opened the scoring in the 21st minute when freshman forward Brian Leon (Kelly H.S.) accepted a feed from freshman midfielder Luka Milcic (Civil Engineering School, Serbia) and deposited it into the goal.

PSC took a 2-0 lead in the 32nd when freshman midfielder Colin McLaughlin (Andrew H.S.) worked his way into a good shooting position with some solid ball handling before ripping a scorching rocket pas the keeper.

Malcolm X retaliated in the 54th with a tally of its own.

The Pioneers closed out the scoring in the 81st when sophomore forward Mamadou Ba (United Township H.S.) tallied his team-leading 11th marker of the slate, courtesy of an assist off the foot of freshman defender Jesus Guzman (Bremen H.S.).

Freshman goalkeeper Jose Maya (Kelly H.S.) made a pair of saves between the posts.

The Pioneers will now take on Milwaukee Tech Friday at Bloom (4 p.m.).

 

PSC, Elgin Play to Draw [October 7, 2014]

Despite a pair of goals from sophomore all-region forward Mamadou Ba (United Township H.S.), the Prairie State College men’s soccer team was unable to post a victory over Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference foe Elgin Tuesday afternoon, settling for a double-overtime 2-2 draw at Bloom High School in Chicago Heights.

With the tie, the Pioneers now move to 8-4-2 on the campaign and 3-1-1 in league action.

Prairie State drew first blood in the hard-fought match as Ba ripped a shot into the back of the net in the 25th minute, giving the Pioneers a 1-0 edge. Ba’s tally came courtesy of an assist off the foot of sophomore defender Josh Horne (Newcastle-Under-Lyme H.S., England).

The 6-foot-1, 191-pound Horne, who was playing in his first match after spending the past two weeks on the bench due to injury, didn’t miss a beat, logging several strong minutes for head coach David Spataru.

After Elgin tied the match in the 65th, the Pioneers roared back thanks to Ba’s second marker of the tilt. The successful shot on goal caught the net just below the crossbar and came courtesy of freshman forward Bryon Leon’s (Kelly H.S.) fourth helper of the season.

Ba leads the Pioneers with 10 goals.

Elgin tied the match in the 85th thanks to a penalty kick.

The Pioneers came up with strong scoring opportunities in both overtime periods but were never able to convert.

Despite the disappointing deadlock, PSC did pick up another stellar showing from freshman goalkeeper Jose Maya (Kelly H.S.). The 5-foot-6 Maya turned away 10 shots in the match.

PSC will take to the pitch on Thursday when they face Malcolm X at Bloom (4 p.m.).

 

Despite Valiant Effort, Pioneers Fall to Undefeated Kennedy-King [October 2, 2014]

Down 2-0 to undefeated Kennedy-King midway through the second half of play Thursday afternoon, the Prairie State College men’s soccer team could easily have hung its collective head and “thrown in the towel.”

However, that would have been completely out of character for head coach David Spataru’s team.

The Pioneers would use every bit of determination and guts they could muster to eventually roar back, tallying a pair of goals in the 69th and 70th minutes respectively. Unfortunately, however, it wasn’t enough as the Statesmen responded with a pair of unanswered goals of their own, grabbing a 4-2 win at Bloom High School in Chicago Heights.

With the setback, the Pioneers fell to 8-4-1 overall and snapped a seven-game unbeaten streak.

Both squads fought back and forth through a scoreless opening half before Kennedy-King broke through in the 59th and 62nd minutes respectively for a 2-0 advantage.

PSC made it a 2-1 contest when sophomore forward Mamadou Ba (United Township H.S.) ripped a shot off the bottom of the crossbar in the 69th for his team-leading eighth tally of the campaign.

One minute later, freshman forward Bryan Leon (Kelly H.S.) took a pass from freshman defender Brandon Wade (Bishop Noll H.S., Ind.) and worked the ball upfield, beating a host of Kennedy-King defenders before finally beating the keeper in the 70th to knot the score.

Leon’s marker was his seventh of the slate.

Unfortunately, the Statesmen answered back with tallies in the 74th and 82nd minutes respectively.

PSC goalkeeper Jose Maya (Kelly H.S.) turned away five shots.

The Pioneers will be in action next on Tuesday when they host Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference counterpart Elgin at Bloom (4 p.m.).

 

Pioneers Take Down Waubonsee in Tough Road Match [September 30, 2014]

SUGAR GROVE, Ill. --- The Prairie State College men’s soccer team scored another decisive win Tuesday afternoon, downing Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference foe Waubonsee 3-1 in Sugar Grove.

With the triumph, the Pioneers moved to 8-3-1 overall and 4-1 in league play.

The victory also avenged a 3-1 setback to the Chiefs in 2013.

The Pioneers trailed 1-0 at the intermission before sophomore forward Mamadou Ba (United Township H.S.) blasted home the equalizer, courtesy of a penalty kick in the 47th minute.

The Pioneers took hold of a 2-1 lead in the 72nd when freshman forward Alejandro Mendez (Bremen H.S.) tallied his fourth goal of the campaign in the 72nd.

The Pioneers took a 3-1 edge in the 82nd on a Waubonsee “own-goal.”

Freshman goalkeeper Jose Maya (Kelly H.S.) was once again stellar between the posts, stopping six of the seven shots on goal that he faced.

The Pioneers will take on Region IV counterpart Kennedy-King on Thursday at Bloom High School (4 p.m.).


Rizzi Makes Quick Impact as PSC Rolls Past Kankakee [September 26, 2014]

After sitting out the bulk of the 2014 season to date, Prairie State College freshman forward Roger Rizzi (Luiza Santin H.S., Brazil) has been waiting to get back onto the pitch and make his presence felt.

That time came Friday as Rizzi tallied the first goal of his collegiate career, breaking up a scoreless deadlock, helping to lift PSC to a 2-0 victory over NJCAA Region IV foe Kankakee.

The game was Rizzi’s first since PSC’s Sept. 9 match against Morton.

With the win, the Pioneers moved to 7-3-1 on the campaign.

The 5-foot-8, 139-pound Rizzi gave the Pioneers a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute when he accepted a feed from freshman midfielder Colin McLaughlin (Andrew H.S.) and employed the help of some fancy footwork to beat the Kankakee goal keeper.

The Pioneers added to their advantage in the 78th when freshman forward Alejandro Mendez (Bremen H.S.) received a pass from freshman midfielder Allen Sanchez (Homewood-Flossmoor H.S.) and buried it into the top corner of the goal for a 2-0 edge.

PSC picked up another stellar outing from freshman keeper Jose Maya (Kelly H.S.) as the 5-foot-6 net-minder kept the ball out of the net for a second consecutive match, making three saves in his 90 minutes of action. The shutout was his third of the campaign.

The Pioneers will see action again on Tuesday when they travel to Sugar Grove for a road date with the Chiefs (4 p.m.).

 

 

Leon, Maya Team Up to Down Arch Rival [September 23, 2014]

Bryan-Leon
Bryon leon tallied the only goal that
PSC would need Tuesday afternoon.

Moraine Valley and Prairie State College have been the most intense of rivals in almost every athletic endeavor for as long as anyone at either of the two schools can remember.

The annual battle between the Cyclones and Pioneers on the soccer pitch has traditionally been equal to the task.

Tuesday afternoon was another classic between the two long-time foes and the action didn't disappoint.

After 68 minutes of hard-fought, all-out action, it was Prairie State freshman forward Bryan Leon (Kelly H.S.) who finally broke a scoreless deadlock, propelling the Pioneers to a triumphant 1-0 Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference victory at Bloom High School in Chicago Heights.

With the victory, PSC moves to 6-3-1 overall and 3-1 in Skyway Conference play.

The Pioneers have now handed the Cyclones a setback in three out of the last four meetings between the two programs.

“We have two very substantial rivals, South Suburban and Moraine Valley” PSC head coach David Spataru said. “It always feels good to beat Moraine Valley. Both teams played a tough game and thankfully, we came out on top.”

Tuesday’s win was a welcome accomplishment following a rough 1-1, double-overtime draw against Harper on Monday.

“After the tremendous effort we had to put forth on Monday, I wasn’t sure what the guys were going to have coming into today,” Spataru said. “I was glad with what they gave me though.”

Leon’s marker came courtesy of a long, precision pass off the foot of 6-foot-5 freshman midfielder Colin McLaughlin (Andrew H.S.). After corralling the ball, Leon chipped it past the Cyclone’s goalkeeper, for the game’s only score.

After turning in a sterling effort in the Harper match, PSC freshman keeper Jose Maya (Kelly H.S.) was strong once again, turning in his second shutout, courtesy of an eight-save performance.

PSC will now host NJCAA Region IV foe Kankakee at Bloom on Friday (4 p.m.).

 

Maya’s Six Saves Help PSC Preserve 1-1 Draw [September 22, 2014]

PALATINE, Ill. --- The Prairie State College men’s soccer team played 110 grueling minutes of soccer Monday afternoon, fighting its way to a 1-1 draw with NJCAA Region IV foe Harper.

PSC freshman goalkeeper Jose Maya (Kelly H.S.) delivered another stellar effort between the posts, making six saves, several of which were described as “exceptional” by PSC head coach David Spataru.

The Pioneers (5-3-1) recorded their lone goal of the match courtesy of freshman forward Bryan Leon (Kelly H.S.). Leon deposited an unassisted tally into the back of the net in the 50th minute for a 1-0 lead.

Harper tied the match in the 70th.

The Pioneers had several strong scoring opportunities throughout the match, but, unfortunately, couldn’t convert.

The Pioneers will see action next on Moraine Valley at Bloom High School on Tuesday (4 p.m.).

 

 

All-Around Team Effort Helps Pioneers Down Traditional Power [September 19, 2014]

If there is one men’s soccer program in the NJCAA Region IV that all others aspire to one day become, it is without question DuPage.

A national title and 14 appearances at the national tournament are reason enough for the Glen Ellyn-based school to be the envy of the region.

Thanks in part to an outstanding all-around team effort, the Prairie State College men’s soccer team scored a convincing 5-0 triumph Friday afternoon over the Chaparrals at Bloom High School in Chicago Heights.

With the win, PSC moved to 5-3 overall on the young season.

The victory was also the 90th for head coach David Spataru at PSC.

“This is just the second time that we’ve beaten DuPage in my eight seasons here,” said Spataru, the winningest coach in program history. “We’ve never beaten DuPage by this kind of margin before as the first time we beat them (two seasons ago), it was in overtime. The score really didn’t reflect just how good of a team DuPage is though. They’ll be there in the end, I’m sure.”

The triumph was also the 235th of Spataru’s storied career.

The Pioneers jumped on DuPage in the 24th minute, striking first courtesy of a long goal off the foot of freshman midfielder Colin McLaughlin (Andrew H.S.).

Sophomore defender Josh Horne (Newcastle-Under-Lyme H.S., England) made it 2-0 in the 39th when he buried a shot following an assist by freshman forward Alejandro Mendez (Bremen H.S.).

Mendez, who also provided the helper on McLaughlin’s tally, currently has six assists on the campaign and sits ninth on the national charts for that category.

The Pioneers are also ranked 17th nationally in total goals with 25.

Horne tallied an unassisted marker in the 42nd as well.

Freshman forward Bryan Leon (Kelly H.S.) made it a 4-0 tilt with a goal in the 72nd minute while freshman midfielder Luka Milcic closed out the scoring in the 70th.

Freshman goalkeeper Jose Maya (Kelly H.S.) earned his first career shutout, thanks to a three-saves showing.

The Pioneers will now host Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference rival Moraine Valley on Tuesday at Bloom (4 p.m.).

 

 

Ba’s “Hat Trick”, Offensive Barrage Power PSC Past Lake County [September 16, 2014]

Allen Sanchez
PSC's Allen Sanchez (No. 19) battles a
Lake County player Tuesday in the
Pioneers' 7-1 win.

Putting together a massive team offensive output is always a great feeling.

Doing that against a conference opponent is even better.

The Prairie State College men’s soccer team experienced this first-hand Tuesday afternoon as the Pioneers scored a convincing 7-1 triumph over Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference foe Lake County at Bloom High School in Chicago Heights.

With the victory, the Pioneers moved to 4-3 overall on the campaign at 2-1 in league play.

On an afternoon loaded with outstanding individual contributions, it was the one delivered by sophomore forward Mamadou Ba (United Township H.S.).

The 5-foot-6, 131-pound Ba turned in the first “hat trick” of his collegiate career, tallying three times, twice in the tilts’ first 10 minutes.

The multi-goal effort was the third of Ba’s career.

The fleet-footed Ba opened the scoring in the third minute when he accepted an inch-perfect pass from sophomore midfielder Josh Horne (Newcastle-Under-Lyme H.S., England) and beat the Lancers’ keeper for a 1-0 lead.

Ba struck again four minutes later, courtesy of a helper off the foot of freshman midfielder Alejandro Mendez (Bremen H.S.) for a 2-0 edge.

Mendez then notched his second assist when he found Horne in the 10th minute.

Freshman midfielder Bryan Leon (Kelly H.S.) used a pass from Horne to tally a marker in the 13th minute.

PSC continued to blast away at the Lake County defense in the 17th when Mendez got in on the scoring act with an unassisted tally which bumped the Pioneers’ advantage to 5-0.

The Pioneers converted their first five shots on goal in the match.

Freshman midfielder Colin McLaughlin (Andrew H.S.) made it a 6-0 contest in the 30th.

Lake County took a goal back just prior to intermission.

Ba closed out the scoring with his final tally in the 43rd.

PSC freshman goalkeeper Jose Maya (Kelly H.S.) once again was strong between the posts making six saves.

PSC will see action next on Friday when they host DuPage at Bloom (4 p.m.).

Pioneers Climb Back into Win Column With Triumph Over Scott [September 11, 2014]

It didn’t take long for the Prairie State College men’s soccer team to find its way back into the win column.

The Pioneers climbed their way back to the .500 mark following a convincing 5-2 triumph Thursday over Scott (Iowa) at Bloom Township High School in Chicago Heights.

With the win, PSC improved its overall record to 3-3 on the campaign, despite windy and unseasonably-cool conditions.

The Pioneers didn’t waste much time in jumping on the scoreboard first, capitalizing on an unfortunate occurrence from Scott’s standpoint as an “own-goal” was tallied in the 12th minute.

Sophomore midfielder Josh Horne (Newcastle-Under-Lyme H.S., England) made it a 2-0 affair 10 minutes later when he rifled a well-struck penalty-kick attempt into the back of the net.

Midfielder Carlos Gallardo (Sterling H.S.) got himself in on the scoring act in the 42nd minute when he accepted a long pass from Horne and beat the Scott goalkeeper for a 3-0 edge.

Just three minutes into the second period, sophomore forward Mamadou Ba (United Township H.S.) tallied a marker of his own, courtesy of an assist off the foot of freshman midfielder Allen Sanchez (Homewood-Flossmoor H.S.).

Freshman midfielder Luka Milcic (Civil Engineering School, Serbia) capped off PSC’s offensive output for the day in the 77th when he teamed up with freshman forward Bryan Leon (Kelly H.S.).

PSC freshman goalkeeper Jose Maya (Kelly H.S.) made two saves in the match.

The Pioneers will see action again on Tuesday when they host Lake County at Bloom (4 p.m.).

 

Morton Clips Pioneers in Road Match [September 9, 2014]

Jose_Maya2
Jose Maya stopped five shots
Tuesday night.

CICERO, Ill. --- The rivalry between Prairie State College and Morton and has become one of the most competitive and intense when it comes to Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference men’s soccer in recent years.

That fact didn’t change following the 2014 edition of the contest on Tuesday.

Unfortunately for the Pioneers the end results did not turn out in their favor.

PSC dropped a heart-breaker to the Panthers, 1-0 in Cicero.

With the setback, the Pioneers fell to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in league play.

Both teams played their way to a scoreless draw at the break.

Morton tallied the lone goal of the match in the 69th minute.

PSC freshman goalkeeper Jose Maya (Kelly H.S.) made five saves in the tilt.

The Pioneers will see their next action on Thursday when they host Scott Community College (Iowa) at Bloom High School (2 p.m.).

 

Pioneers Suffer Unexpected Setback Against Sandburg [September 6, 2014]

KANKAKEE, Ill. --- The Prairie State College men’s soccer team took to the pitch Saturday afternoon for its match against NJCAA Region IV counterpart Carl Sandburg primed and ready to post a second straight win.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

The Chargers handed the Pioneers a stunning 3-1 setback at Kankakee Community College.

The loss dropped Prairie State’s overall record to 2-2.

Carl Sandburg struck first in the 17th minute, taking a 1-0 lead.

The Pioneers answered right back just 29 seconds later when all-region sophomore midfielder Mamadou Ba (United Township H.S.) headed a cross from freshman forward Alejandro Mendez (Bremen H.S.).

Both teams went into the intermission deadlocked at 1.

Sandburg tallied the go-ahead marker in the 61st and added an insurance goal in the 71st.

PSC freshman goalkeeper Jose Maya (Kely H.S.) made five saves in the tilt.

The Pioneers will take the field next on Tuesday when they open Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference play against league foe Morton in Cicero (4 p.m.).

 

Mendez Delivers a Pair as PSC Rolls Past McHenry [September 4, 2014]

Alejandro-Mendez
Alejandro Mendez scored twice in
PSC's 3-1 win over MeHenry Thursday
afternoon.

Prairie State College freshman forward Alejandro Mendez (Bremen H.S.) wasn’t happy with the fact that his team was trailing Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference counterpart McHenry 1-0 at halftime Thursday afternoon.

So, he did something about it.

The 5-foot-10, 169-pound Mendez tallied a pair of second-half goals, lifting the Pioneers to a 3-1 victory at Bloom High School in Chicago Heights. The match was the league-opener for both teams.

The win was especially important to PSC (2-1, 1-0) considering that it represented a “six-point victory”, meaning that the Pioneers gained three points (the point total for a win) in both the Skyway standings and in the NJCAA Region IV.

“I think we were a little tentative early on today,” PSC head coach David Spataru said. “The wind and the weather were a big factor in the first half.

“We played a strong second half however and this was a good win for the kids, a six-point win, so that’s always a good thing.”

McHenry opened up the scoring in the 37th minute when a shot got over the outstretched hands of PSC freshman goalkeeper Jose Maya (Kelly H.S.), (2 saves).

The Pioneers struck back in the 53rd when Mendez posted his first goal of the campaign, thanks to an assist by freshman forward Bryan Leon (Kelly H.S.).

Mendez made his presence felt again eight minutes later when he delivered his second score and the go-ahead marker of the match, courtesy of a helper from freshman forward Roger Rizzi (Luiza Santin H.S., Brazil).

Leon capped off the Pioneers’ offensive outburst in the 88th when Colin McLaughlin (Andrew H.S.) chipped in an assist.

PSC will see action again on Saturday when it takes to the pitch against Carl Sandburg at Kankakee Community College (3 p.m.).

 

Horne Strikes Late as PSC Downs Joliet [August 29, 2014]

Josh-Horne
Josh Horne tallied the game--winning
goal against Joliet Friday afternoon.

JOLIET, Ill. --- The Prairie State College men’s soccer team appeared to be headed for a second straight overtime match Friday afternoon in its NJCAA Region IV clash with local foe Joliet.

Thankfully for the Pioneers, sophomore midfielder Josh Horne didn’t allow that to happen.

The 6-foot-1, 191-pound Horne buried a clutch penalty-kick tally in the 89th minute, hoisting the Pioneers to a 2-1 triumph over the Wolves in Joliet.

Horne’s dramatic marker was made possible when freshman forward Alejandro Mendez (Bremen H.S.) was brought down in the box.

Prairie State dropped its season-opener August 26, following a 3-2 overtime loss to Ancilla.

Friday's tilt endured a 65-minute delay due to lightning and overall poor weather conditions.

The Pioneers (1-1) opened the scoring in the 32nd minute when all-region sophomore forward Mamadou Ba (United Township H.S.), courtesy of an assist by freshman forward Alejandro Mendez (Bremen H.S.).

Joliet tied the match in the 65th minute.

PSC freshman goalkeeper Jose Maya (Kelly H.S.) went the distance between the posts and recorded three saves.

The Pioneers will take the pitch next on Thursday when they host Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference counterpart McHenry at Bloom High School in Chicago Heights.

 

Pioneers Drop Heart-Breaker in Season-Opener [August 26, 2014]

Bryan-Leon
Bryan Leon registered a game-tying
goal against Ancilla Tuesday afternoon.

PLYMOUTH, Ind. --- Heading into an overtime period with a two-man advantage will always give the team in that position an extra boost of confidence.

The Prairie State College men’s soccer team certainly felt this way Tuesday afternoon, as it entered the extra-session of its season-opening, non-conference match at Ancilla.

Unfortunately for PSC, that advantage didn’t turn out in the Pioneers' favor.

Ancilla tallied on a penalty kick just 45 seconds into the overtime, handing Prairie State a heart-wrenching 3-2 loss.

What made the setback especially tough was the fact that PSC freshman goal keeper Jose Maya (Kelly H.S.) had made the initial stop on the penalty kick attempt. Unfortunately, Maya was whistled for crossing the line before the ball was struck. The Chargers then capitalized on their second attempt, putting an abrupt end to the contest.

The Pioneers (0-1) opened the scoring in the 35th minute when freshman midfielder Luka Milcic (Civil Engineering School, Serbia) blasted an unassisted attempt into the far side of the goal.

Ancilla stormed back to take a 2-1 lead, registering markers in the 40th and 45th minutes respectively.

The Pioneers tied the match in the 62nd when freshman midfielder Colin McLaughlin (Andrew H.S.) crossed a ball to freshman Bryan Leon (Kelly H.S.). The 5-foot-9, 145-pound Leon then buried a shot into the corner of the net.

PSC recorded 10 shots on goal in the tilt.

Maya turned away a quartet of Ancilla shots.

The Pioneers will take to the pitch next on Friday when they travel to Joliet for a road date with the Wolves (4 p.m.).

 

2014 Men's Soccer Letters of Intent Signees

The following student-athletes have signed NJCAA letters of intent to continue their academic and soccer careers at Prairie State College beginning in the Fall 2014 semester:

  • Carlos Gallardo (Sterling H.S.)
  • Jesus Villicana (Bremen H.S.)
  • Roger Rizzi (E.E.B. Professora Luiza Santin H.S., Brazil)
  • Luka Milcic (Civil Engineering H.S., Serbia)
  • Allen Sanchez (Homewood-Flossmoor H.S.)
  • Harold Pulido (Carver Military Academy)
  • Omar Reyan-Farje (Shepard H.S.)