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Eastern Florida Women's, Men's Soccer to Compete for National Championship Tournament Berths
Nov. 7, 2013 - Eastern Florida State College's men's and women's soccer teams are on the verge of an accomplishment believed to be extremely rare in the institution's history: both teams simultaneously competing for a national championship.
The women play at Jones County Junior College in Mississippi at 3 p.m. Eastern time on Friday for the NJCAA Division I District 8 championship and the right to participate in the NJCAA Division I Women's National Championship Tournament to be contested Nov. 18-23 on the Melbourne Campus.
The Eastern Florida-Jones County game will be webcast beginning at 2:50 p.m. Eastern time at www.jcjc.tv.
Then, Eastern Florida's men host Louisburg College (N.C.) at 2 p.m. Saturday on the Melbourne Campus for the NJCAA Division I Southeast District championship and the right to compete in the NJCAA Division I Men's National Championship Tournament Nov. 18-23 at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, TX. Admission to Saturday's game is free.
Both games should present stern challenges.
Jones County, 17-1, awaits Eastern Florida's women, 10-2-1, while Louisburg 12-6-1 thanks to having to forfeit six games for using an ineligible player, stands in the way of Eastern Florida's men, 13-1-1.
"Both of our teams are very excited about the opportunities we have," said Eastern Florida Athletic Director and head women's soccer coach Jeff Carr.
"While it certainly would be a proud moment to have both teams competing for national titles we certainly are not looking ahead. We cannot afford to since both of us are playing teams that have had outstanding seasons and teams that also have the opportunity to play for a national title and are going to raise their games to the appropriate levels."
Eastern Florida's women advanced to the District 8 title game by beating in-state rivals Broward College and Polk State College three times each to win the Region 8 championship.
The Eastern Florida men, under head coach Oliver Twelvetrees, advanced by winning the Region 17 title in Georgia, beating Middle Georgia, 4-3; host Darton State College, 2-0; and Georgia Perimeter, 3-1 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 double overtime deadlock.
Jones County advanced by beating Pearl River Community College for the Mississippi state championship while Louisburg moved through with a victory over Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist.
Eastern Florida's men are ranked sixth in the NJCAA national poll while Louisburg is ranked 14th. Jones County is 12th in the women's poll and Eastern Florida 18th.
The Eastern Florida women enter Friday's game on a seven-match winning streak while the men have not lost in 13 straight games.
"Both of our teams are playing well when it counts the most, at the end of the season," Carr said.
Conversely, Jones County has won six straight and Louisburg nine straight, mostly on the strength of its offense, which has accounted for 99 goals, the most in the nation, and 78 assists, the second-most in the U.S. Louisburg also has national third-best 135 corner kicks.