Former Whites enjoy good first seasons in America

CHAMPIONS: Sam Black (fourth from left) celebrates with his team-mates following their success in the NCCAA Division One Central Regional Tournament in Oklahoma City

CHAMPIONS: Sam Black (fourth from left) celebrates with his team-mates following their success in the NCCAA Division One Central Regional Tournament in Oklahoma City

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FORMER Corinthians footballer Cameron Lee has enjoyed a fine debut season for Montana State University Billings.

The defender moved to the northwest American state in the summer and played 18 matches for the Yellowjackets in NCAA Division Two, helping his side keep five cleansheets in those games and holding his opponents to a .431 shot on goal percentage. At the other end of the pitch, Cameron managed to get on the scoresheet during his side’s match at Western Washington.

Cameron Lee

Cameron Lee

The Yellowjackets boasted an overall record of 11 wins, five draws and just two defeats for the 2012 season.

Such were his performances for Montana that Cameron was included in the All- GNAC (Great Northeast Atlantic Conference) honorable mention selection.

Speaking a the end of the season Dan McNally, the head coach of the men’s team at the university, paid tribute to Lee: ‘Cameron has had an outstanding first season with our team. He started every game this term and he has been one of our most consistent players. Cam has a big future in American college soccer.’

l Sam Black, another former Corinthians defender, has had a good first campaign in America playing 20 games for McMurry University’s soccer team in Texas, scoring twice to help them to their best season for almost a decade.

Despite a tough start to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division Two Heartland Conference season with a completely new squad, the team produced some good results and ended the season with a 6-8 record to finish in third place.

With that placing the team should have qualified for the conference tournament and had the chance to go towards the NCAA Division Two regional and national tournament. However, as the team was new it has to go through a two-year probation period where it is assessed before it can qualify for NCAA tournaments.

As a Christian school, McMurry are also a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association, therefore after the regular season they qualified for the NCCAA Division One Central Regional Tournament in Oklahoma City which involved six teams.

The top two seeded teams went straight to the semi-finals and the other four began in the quarter-finals. Seeded fourth, McMurry played Dallas Baptist University last Thursday and emerged 2-0 winners to advance into the last four the next day.

In the semis the Texan team went up against the number one seed and tournament hosts Mid-America Christian University (Oklahoma).

After falling behind twice in the first half, Sam’s team rallied and went in at the break level at 2-2 before netting a third goal late in the second half to win 3-2.

In the final they went head-to-head with Central Christian College (Kansas). Again McMurry found themselves two goals down but a superb second-half showing earned them another 3-2 victory to become NCCAA Division One Central Regional Champions and qualify for the national tournament in Florida at the end of this month.

l ISLAND internationals Ant Moore and Jack McVey fine form for Farleigh University Knights continued with two more wins in the NCAA Championships.

Moore scored the winner as they beat a side ironically called St John’s in the last-64 stage on Thursday, before McVey netted his side’s decisive second goal as the Knights defeated St Louis 2-1 in extra-time. Moore’s goal and two assists in the latter game saw him named in College Soccer News’ Team of the Week. The Knights travel to North Carolina this Sunday to play the defending national champions UNC in the competition’s last 16.

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