Nicole Howard fights off an Iowa Central defender during the second round of pool play at the NJCAA National Women's Soccer Championships in Melbourne, Fla. (Photo by L&C Media Specialist, Ariel Weinman)..

MELBOURNE, FLA. – After a 4-1 loss to Iowa Central Community College, the Lewis and Clark Community College women’s soccer team is headed back to home to Illinois.

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After a scoreless first half, ICCC rallied and scored two goals against the Trailblazers in the second round of pool play at the National Junior College Athletic Association Women’s Soccer Championships in Melbourne, Fla.

Sophomore forward Nicole Howard, of Rolla, Missouri, was able to score the Trailblazers only goal for the game on a penalty kick.

ICCC was able to score two more points later in the game, with the last goal being scored in the final seconds of the match.

“I thought our effort today was so much better today than yesterday,” said Head Coach Rooney. “They worked really hard. Our depth is what really caught up with us. Nicole’s compartment syndrome was acting up so she wasn’t at 100 percent, and Jane had to be subbed out due to her allergies – she just couldn’t go. We were playing a really good team, and when you add it all up, it is just a matter of time.”

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This loss ends the Trailblazers’ season with a 16-4-2 record, and district and regional championships under their belt.

The team has four First Team All-Region players, including Cassidy Foley, Kaley Hill, Jane Skaggs, and Nicole Howard. Natalie Otten and Tessa Wagner received honorable mention.

Howard also was named Region 24 Player of the Year and head coach Tim Rooney was named Region 24 Coach of the Year.

“The girls played a great season,” said Assistant Coach Ryan Hodge. “This was a really good group of girls that really played each game for one another. I really enjoyed coaching them.

“They proved that they could play and hang with the best in the nation, although we didn’t get the outcome we were hoping for.”

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