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.).
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 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.).
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.).
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.).
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.).
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.).
Jose Maya stopped five shots
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.).
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.).
Alejandro Mendez scored twice in
PSC's 3-1 win over MeHenry Thursday
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.).
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.
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.)