ECC Men’s Soccer (9-10-1) saved their best performances for the end of the season and kept extending their hopes of winning the NJCAA Central District alive to the end. The Falcons eventually fell 2-1 to NJCAA #6 Heartland Community College. The Falcons put together a historic run to the end of the season, rattling of four straight playoff wins to reach the district final game. After knocking off State Fair, St. Charles, St. Louis and National Park, the test became tougher and the Falcons answered the call to the final whistle.
Despite being down 1-0 early in the match, the Falcons put together passes and created chances in front of the Hawks’ goal. An unfortunate penalty kick at the end of the first half had ECC down 2-0 at halftime.
The Falcons kept clawing their way back into the match in the second half. A goal by Jay Yule in the 68th minute, his 7th of the season, put ECC right back into the match. The Falcons started mounting attacks and good shots had the Hawks hanging on to a one goal lead. Julio Gonzalez had a header, from a Joao Pedro Louzada corner kick, just go wide on the net. Another blistering shot from Damian Kunc just missed the frame. If the shot was on target, it would have been a sure game tying goal.
The defense played well with Nelson Pena, Julio Gonzalez, Jacob Sauvage and James Baxter dealing with a talented Heartland offense and holding them out most of the match. The Falcons post season run was the closest chance for an ECC men’s soccer team of going to the NJCAA National Tournament since 2004, when ECC fell to Johnson County 2-0. The only appearance for ECC in the tournament was in 2003 when East Central College finished 3rd in the nation at the NJCAA Division I level.