Long before Major League Soccer was planning on coming to St. Louis, colleges in the area were churning out great soccer and great soccer teams for decades. Lewis and Clark’s soccer team is no exception to that rule.
“We’ve had a lot of good players,” says longtime coach Tim Rooney. “Players see the reputation of the school and want to play here.”
Tim Rooney serves as head coach to the women’s team, and assistant to the men’s team. Rooney himself has been a central stalwart of Lewis And Clark soccer, winning over 800 games between the men’s and women’s teams. He was inducted into the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame in 2009.
As always, he’s more focused on the season ahead rather than talking about previous accomplishments. When asked about what he looks for in training and preseason, Rooney emphasized fitness. “We’re trying to get fit, trying to get touches on the ball, trying to make a bit of progress every day.” Rooney continues. “We’re going through the motions and players will start to stand out as the season starts.”
Rooney’s women’s side hosted the LC Alumni women in the first match of a preseason doubleheader at Tim Rooney Stadium on August 10. The alumni games are both practice and a celebration of the past student athletes who showed off their talents on this same field.
Two goals from LC midfielder Boitumelo Rabale and another from Candice Parziani gave the current Trailblazers a 3-2 victory over the LC Alumni. Rabale made waves last season with a long-range goal against Butler that was shared across social media, and has brought the talent that made her the captain of the Lesotho women’s national team to the Trailblazers.
The men’s team, led by head coach Ryan Hodge, looked comfortable in their alumni encounter, at times running circles around the alumni side facing them. Talking to Pete Hayes of the Alton Telegraph, Hodge touched on that conditioning. “We won’t have to put as much time in on fitness if everyone has done their summer fitness training. And we’ll be able to tell who did.”
After a fairly competitive first half, the Trailblazers set themselves apart from their alumni counterparts, scoring goals in quick succession in the second half to put the game out of reach for the alumni squad, winning the game 5-1. A hat trick from freshman forward Tony Bodul did most of the damage for Lewis And Clark.
Last seasons standout Rashaun Walkes looked sharp in preseason action, something Ryan Hodge was hoping for. Speaking to Pete Hayes of the Telegraph, Hodge added “Rashaun will hopefully pick it up from last year. He’ll be our captain and we’ll look for good things from him, obviously.”
The Trailblazer women and men have just started their preseason campaign. The men’s team begins regular season play on Aug. 23, welcoming Marshalltown to Godfrey. The women’s side starts their season on Sept. 4 when they travel to Lincoln Trail College.
All Lewis and Clark soccer games are held at the Tim Rooney Stadium on the Lewis and Clark Godfrey campus, and all the games are free to attend.
For the full women’s schedule go to: https://www.lc.edu/athletics/womens/soccer/schedule/
For the full men’s schedule go to: https://www.lc.edu/athletics/mens/soccer/schedule/