Blazer Beat: Soccer Season Kicks Off

Nathan Tucker


Trailblazer Women vs. Allen County Red Devils

Before I could even tweet out a picture from Tim Rooney Stadium on the Godfrey campus of Lewis And Clark, the women’s soccer Trailblazers had already taken a 1-0 lead on Allen County through a penalty kick converted by Emma Lucas in the sixth minute of the match. They never looked back. 

Two more goals by former Bloemfontein Celtic captain Boitumelo Rabale in quick succession put the game away before much of it could even be played, giving the Trailblazers side a 3-0 advantage just twenty minutes into the day’s action. The Trailblazers commanded the pace and play of the match from the start, and their opponents, the Red Devils from Allen County, couldn’t get a shot in edgewise for the majority of the first half. 

The Red Devils started to make some inroads in the second half, testing the Trailblazer defense on a few occasions but never making a breakthrough. After suffering a nasty cut on her face from a ball launched at her in the first half, Allen County forward Ivory Lawless came back in the game in the second half, attempting to spark her side into a comeback.

That comeback would be all for naught, however, as Lewis And Clark’s dynamic duo of Boitumelo Rabale and Candice Parziani combined for more goals in the second half. Rabale netted a hat trick on the day, and Parziani scored twice. You can see from the seats that the two are constantly looking for each other in attack, both on and off the ball. Throw in a late goal from defender Cassie Hall for good measure, a comprehensive 8-0 win is a perfect start to this year’s campaign for Tim Rooney’s squad.

Trailblazer men vs Marshalltown

In similar fashion to the Trailblazer women earlier in the day, the men’s side got off to a fast start in their stanza with the Marshalltown Tigers. A goal from Zane Rowles in the first few minutes of the game gave Lewis & Clark the lead, and effectively woke up their visiting opponents.

Marshalltown turned things around following the goal, and spent much of the first half on the offensive. They scored the equaliser sixteen minutes into the half, and scored twice more in the next fifteen to knock the score up to 3-1, two of those three goals scored by Jiroh Hatano. Trailblazer captain Reshaun Welkes leaving the first half due to an apparent injury, but returned to the game following halftime. 

The visiting Tigers got active early in the second half, asking more questions of Lewis & Clark’s defense. They forced the Trailblazer back line into a backpass, forcing an indirect free kick from inside the box, a play that’s somewhat a novelty in the sport. The free kick was taken about 7 yards from goal, with the entirety of the LC eleven manning the goal line in a huge human wall. Marshalltown’s effort was blocked by the wall, but minutes later they found the goal they deserved. A cool finish from Sekou Kromah to push the game even further out of reach for the Trailblazers.

Not quick to give up, LC pulled a goal back through a Kyle Swanner effort from outside of the box to move within two of the visitors. The Trailblazers made a valiant effort in the final twenty minutes to try to get in the game, but couldn’t break down the Marshalltown defense. The visiting Tigers stood firm against the late LC onslaught, sealing a 4-2 victory. Ryan Hodge’s side will look to build off of positives and rebound in their next match.

Both of the Trailblazer soccer teams are in action again on August 25, in a doubleheader against Iowa Lakes at Tim Rooney Stadium. The women’s game starts at 11 am, and the men’s game follows immediately after.

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