RCA claims MTAC soccer championship
Riverside Christian Academy’s varsity soccer team clinched the Middle Tennessee Athletic Conference (MTAC) Championship on Saturday, May 11.
The Knights earned a home field advantage in the first round of the conference tournament for being a higher seed; they defeated Franklin Classical School 11-0 in the first round game on Thursday, May 9. The semi-final game and the championship game were both played at Currey Ingram Academy on Saturday, May 11. The Knights defeated Providence Christian Academy 4-0 in the semi-final game and Aaron Academy in the championship game with a score of 3-2.
Freshman Seth Mann, was named to the all-tournament team by conference officials; he scored two of RCA’s goals in the championship game.
“Seth played really well in both the semi-final game and the championship game. He did a great job on defense in the championship game, especially during the second half,” said Gabe Clements, RCA’s head soccer coach.
Senior Reagan Eldridge was named Conference MVP by conference officials. He scored two goals in the semi-final game against PCA and one goal in the championship game against Aaron Academy. Reagan had a total of 32 goals for the season. He was ranked second in goals scored by the Tennessean and earned a soccer scholarship to Freed-Hardeman University.
The Knights recorded 11 wins, two losses and one draw for the season. The team’s wins came against Aaron Academy, Benton Hall, Community Christian, Franklin Christian Academy, Franklin Classical School, Grace Christian Academy, Middle Tennessee Christian School, and Providence Christian Academy. Their losses were against Webb School and Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, and they tied Lincoln County High School.
“I was very proud of our team for the effort they showed this year even in games we lost or tied. I believe that we played our best game against Webb, even though we lost 1-0. The team fought hard to the end and Seth Finch, our keeper, had a lot of saves that kept us in the game,” said Coach Clements.
“We had three players who had never played soccer before who ended up making a big difference for us. Freshman Nathan Moose played a great game defensively against Aaron Academy for the championship; Josh Hill scored four goals for us in five games; and Corey Albert was the most versatile player on our team – he could play any position we asked him to and did it with a great attitude,” said Coach Clements.
Nathan Elrod and Seth Finch both contributed greatly to the Knights’ defense all season. Finch had five shutout games at keeper and made a save against Aaron Academy in the championship game that kept them from tying the score with only three minutes left in the game.
“I believe we will be competitive again next year in the conference. We are losing some great senior players, but we have some eighth graders moving up to high school and several athletic students who want to play that have never played before,” said Coach Clements.
“I’m so excited about the direction of our sports program at Riverside,” said Whitney Creasy, RCA’s athletic director. “We joined the MTAC last spring, and it has been a great move for us. The conference is made up of smaller private schools in the Middle Tennessee region, and we are so much more competitive because the schools in our conference are all close to our size.
“Our varsity soccer team had a great season and fought hard to bring home the championship to RCA. Another exciting point is that nine of the 17 soccer players will have a second conference championship ring in one school year because they also played on RCA’s championship football team last fall!”