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Cougars Defeat Trailblazers to Finish #3 Nationally


(11/13/11) Clearwater Christian College finished the season with a 2-1 win over Ohio Christian University in the 3rd place match of the NCCAA National Tournament in Kissimmee, Florida. It was a great day for the Cougar seniors as Mac Hildebrand and Matt Wells both scored and Drew Custer and Walter Scharf delivered assists.

Clearwater scored first in the 20th minute as Drew Custer got in behind the OCU defense and delivered a nifty assist to Mac Hildebrand who blasted the left-footed shot past the keeper to make it 1-0. The Trailblazers would answer minutes later as Dave Blamo got behind the Cougar defense to score on a breakaway to even the score at 1-1. Wells would score the game-winner off Scharf's corner kick, flicking the ball out of the air and into the OCU net to make it 2-1.

Clearwater would continue to create numerous chances in the 2nd half, outshooting Ohio 20-5 overall, but were unable to get the 3rd goal.

Coach Whitaker commented after the match, "We wanted to win this match today for our seniors so it was great to go out on top. I was really proud of the character our team displayed today under difficult circumstances. We were disappointed not to get back to the final but we still had a great season. The way these guys improved and came together over the final month of the season was remarkable. We'll really miss these seniors, but this young team has a very bright future."

For their oustanding play over the course of the national tournament, seniors Drew Custer and Matt Wells were named to the All-Tournament Team. The NCCAA All-American teams will be announced at a later date.