Louisburg Runnerup For JUCO Title.

Cristian Neagu

One of the challenging aspects of coaching at the collegiate level is the demand of recruiting new players every year.

It is difficult enough for four-year colleges and universities to “refresh” the program with an infusion of talented newcomers, but recruiting at the junior college level means over half your team turns over “every” year.

Long-range planning actually is short-range planning.

Louisburg College (NC) came close to winnig a national championship this year. The Hurricanes lost 1-0 to Tyler JC (TX) in the men’s National Junior College Athletic Association’s championship game.

Scoreless through regulation, Tyler got the golden goal game-winner in overtime. It was only the second goal allowed in the tournament by freshman goalkeeper Brian Howard (Roanoke Rapids, NC).

It proved to be the only loss of the season for the Hurricanes, who finished 21-1-0 under first-year head coach Cristian Neagu, who played collegiate soccer at Virginia Commonwealth. Neagu led the Rams to a pair of CAA titles.

“It’s not a good feeling losing a national championship in overtime,” said Neagu. “All we can do is take this feeling and use it as motivation for next year. I’m very proud of these guys and they have nothing to be ashamed of.”

Louisburg, seeded #3 in the tournament, knocked off second-seed Monroe CC (Rochester, NY), 5-1 in the semifinals. Tyler advanced with a win over #1 seed Darton State College (Albany, GA).
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