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Skyhawks soar to third title

December 4, 2011 | 7:51 am 1
By Shaun Schafer

It took extra time on Saturday, but the Fort Lewis College Skyhawks picked up the team’s third national title since 2005.

Berekk Blackwell delivered a header off a Joey Madigan corner kick that gave Fort Lewis a 3-2 victory over Lynn about 90 seconds into the first overtime of the NCAA Division II men’s soccer championship in Pensacola, Fla.

“I thought we knew it was going to be a tough game,” coach Oige Kennedy said. “It was all pretty even, and to go behind and come back and put yourself in the lead, then fall back again, to come out and win it in the end is tremendous.”

This was the second title Kennedy has coached the Skyhawks (24-1-0) to, as he guided the 2009 champions, who also finished 24-1-0.

Lynn, from Boca Raton, Fla., scored first in the 14th minute on a 25-yard free kick by Harald Gracholski. Fort Lewis equalized in the 25th minute when Lynn defender Jason Sangha headed a free kick from Skyhawk Alberto Capdepon-Rodriguez into his own goal.

In the 32nd minute, Kosta Kordistos put the Skyhawks ahead with a left-footed shot from 12 yards out off a pass from Cory Dean.

Fort Lewis held the lead until the 72nd minute, when Gracholski curled in another free kick for Lynn, this time from 30 yards out.

Although Lynn outshot the Skyhawks 12-3, the Florida team could only watch as Blackwell scored the game winner.

“I was upset over the goal and it was the first corner kick we’ve let in all year,” said Lynn coach John Rootes. “We fought hard, but we just lost our concentration in the overtime. I thought we deserved a better outcome, but you just have to hand it to Fort Lewis.”

Fort Lewis can now add a third star over its crest, symbolizing its NCAA Division II championships in 2005, 2009 and 2011. The Skyhawks were also NCAA-II runners-up in 1999 and 2006.

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One Comment »

  • Tom Durrant said:

    A friend told me about this college and this year I have followed their progress. They seem to be consistently doing something right there, with different coaches as well. What’s the story behind this? Why are more not copying the approach/set-up/coaching??? Whatever it is they need to bottle it and sell it.

    Interested individual.

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