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Early goal trips Eckerd again

The Eckerd College men's soccer team advanced to the championship match of the Saint Leo Marriott Classic tournament Sunday before losing 3-0 to Queens College of North Carolina.

"We fell into our old habit of giving up an early goal," Eckerd coach Jim DiNobile said. "We were all pushed up trying to get the equalizer and they scored twice in the last 9 minutes."

The Tritons (6-8 overall, 2-3 in the Sunshine State Conference) reached the title game with a 3-0 victory over the University of West Florida on Saturday. Defender Rick Littlefield scored his first goal of the season on a free kick, and Tim Waters and Garrit Elliot also found the net.

Eckerd, with three matches left and little hope of being chosen for post-season play, will meet Davis and Elkins College of West Virginia at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Lakewood Soccer Complex. Admission is free.

Clearwater Christian volleyball: The Clearwater Christian College Cougars swept their district tournament over the weekend to qualify for the National Christian College Athletic Association Division II national tournament.

The Cougars defeated Trinity Baptist College, Crown College and Johnson Bible before meeting defending district champion Southeastern College in the final and winning 15-6, 15-5 and 15-3. Susan Williams' serving and strong attacking by Karen Lavender and Jen Wilkerson led Clearwater Christian.

The national tournament is Nov. 3-5 in Springfield, Mo. Cougars coach Vickie Grooms has been starting three freshmen: Wilkerson, Lavender and Melissa Weicek.

Wilkerson and seniors Kim Hester and Crissie Hawkins were named to the all-district first team.

Clearwater Christian is at home 7 p.m. Friday against Eckerd.

Eckerd volleyball: The team threatened to climb back into its home match Saturday against Nova Southeastern University but could not sustain the effort in a 15-10, 15-11, 10-15, 15-1 loss at the McArthur Center.

The Tritons (3-18, 0-8) will play Sunshine State Conference rival Tampa at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in St. Petersburg. Admission is free.

Wilkins 10th in run: Eckerd freshman Dan Wilkins finished 10th with a time of 29 minutes, 51 seconds in a cross-country meet Saturday at Warner Southern College in Lake Wales.

The Eckerd men could not field a full squad, but the Eckerd women did, finishing fourth among six teams. Joselle Germano, a senior, led the Tritons with a 13th-place finish in 22:22.

Eckerd will compete in the Sunshine State Conference Championships Saturday in Jacksonville.

SPJC soccer: The St. Petersburg Junior College soccer team picked up its first College Club Conference win Saturday with a 2-1 victory over the University of Florida in Clearwater.

Dan Fontana of Tampa, scored his team-high seventh goal of the season late in the first half and Nathan Weatherilt of Clearwater, also found the net late in the second half for SPJC (5-4, 1-2).

The Trojans will play the University of Miami in a non-conference road match Saturday.

SPJC basketball: Third-year coach Bill Payne hopes there will be something special in the air for his SPJC men's basketball team against American Airlines, an AAU team from Seminole, in the Trojans' season and home opener Tuesday at the St. Petersburg campus.

SPJC will play its first Suncoast Conference game on Jan. 5, the first of 14 consecutive conference contests leading up to the conference playoffs Feb. 22-23. The state tournament is set for March 2-4.

The SPJC women's team, directed by first-year coach William "Hammer" Smith, will open at the Clearwater campus against Tallahassee Community College on Nov. 5 and the first conference game is Nov. 17.

Eckerd golf benefit: The Eckerd College Athletic Department will hold a benefit golf tournament Nov. 5 at Imperial Lakes in Bradenton.

The cost is $50 per player, or $200 per foursome, for the scramble event. Lunch is included. Hole sponsorships also are available for $100. Proceeds will assist student athletes at Eckerd College.

Play will begin with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. For information, call 864-8251 or 864-8254. Deadline is Tuesday.