By Jamie Wachter / Sports Editor
With every passing minute, it seemd like Meridian Community College was going to win an NJCAA Region 23 championship Saturday.
Armed with a first-half goal and unbelievable play in net from keeper Marlo Brinnon, the Eagles seemed to be in good shape Saturday at Lamar School. However, Pearl River Community College had other ideas, rallying past the Eagles for a 2-1 win and the hardware.
“To be here, it’s quite an honor,” MCC coach Alex George said. “It was a game where I think we felt we had won there for a minute but they came in and we knew they were really good.”
That feeling began when Kellen Roberts scored in the 34th minute to give Meridian a 1-0 lead. And up until that point, it had been a game dominated by the Wildcats.
However, time and time again, Brinnon was up to the challenge, keeping MCC (7-8-2) in the lead.
That changed in the 62nd minute as PRCC (14-0) capitalized on a corner kick to tie it with a Ricky Henry goal, and then in the 87th minute, the Wildcats pushed ahead for the title win as Mike Allizzo scored.
“We took some chances and got stretched a little thin defensively,” George said. “They got behind us, but we’re proud of the effort we gave today.”
But the season isn’t over for MCC, which is still alive in the NJCAA postseason, traveling to Texas for the district tournament with a berth in the national tournament to be held in Albany, Ga., on the line.