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Generals gear up for another national tourney

By MIKE LEVIN

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - The last time the HCCC men's soccer team played at Wehrum Stadium, they beat rival Genesee in the Region III final, 1-0 in the second overtime on October 28th.  But now the Generals are setting their sights on another win at the NJCAA Division III championships, which will be held at Herkimer for the third straight season.

It's become a November tradition for HCCC to host the nationals and the Generals are the defending champions, as well as an eight time champ overall.

"Words really can't describe it," says sophomore forward Charlie Anderson, who hit the game winner in the region final.  "You see so many familiar faces from around college, but then you've got the whole town coming out to support, people from all over the country coming in to support their own colleges.  It brings everyone together to celebrate such a brilliant sport, to be honest with you."

"It's just a special occasion," adds sophomore midfielder Craig McCabe.  "The whole college comes to show their support and you don't want to let them down.  As a family we're close and everyone just wants to win it, not just for themselves, but each other.  People are going to move on, you want to leave with coach being a champion as well.  Everyone just wants to win it."

Anderson and McCabe are part of the sophomore group that won it all last year as freshmen and they hope this weekend will be a repeat of last year and that another title will help them in their soccer careers as well.

"The talent at a regional level, it's elevated at the national level," says HCCC head coach Pepe Aragon.  "When fans come to watch us, there's going to be a ton of scouts, four year schools that are here to watch all the talent that's here.  There's a lot going for the players here, not just a national championship, but scholarship-wise."

The NJCAA Division III championships begin Thursday morning at 11 as the Generals face Brookdale.  If the Generals keep advancing, they'd play in the semifinals Friday afternoon at four, then Sunday at one in the national championship.

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