KISSIMMEE – Former Ridgeview High soccer standout Ricky Prestridge, who took a major step in his soccer career a year ago by returning to college soccer after toying with a pro soccer career in …
KISSIMMEE – Former Ridgeview High soccer standout Ricky Prestridge, who took a major step in his soccer career a year ago by returning to college soccer after toying with a pro soccer career in Jacksonville and Orlando, will get a chance to play for a national college soccer championship as his Columbia International University (SC) soccer team heads to Kissimmee for the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) national tournament on Mon., Nov. 26-Sat., Dec. 1. “I mainly wanted to return to college to finish my education when I left the pro game with an injury, but this experience of being among a group of younger guys who want to learn the game of soccer has been quite an experience for me as well,” said Prestridge, who is a sophomore forward for Columbia with five goals for the regular season. “Hopefully, the loss in the conference championship, a game we should have won, will push the team to get their head straight and play hard this week.”
Second seeded in the south region tournament, Columbia (11-8), suffered a tough 2-0 loss to top seed Warner University (12-5-1) on November 17, but was awarded an At-Large bid for the national tournament just one day after the loss. The invite was the first in the history of the Rams soccer program and put Columbia in as the eighth seed in a bracket with second-seed Grace College (IN) (13-3-4 and the Crossroads League champion and region champion with two goals in the final five minutes to beat Lancaster Bible 3-2) and fifth-seed Ottawa University -Arizona (11-5-1, 3.35 goals per game). Columbia will play Grace on Mon., Nov. 26 in Kissimmee. Twenty four hours later, Columbia must play Ottawa on Tuesday at 5 p.m. Note: Columbia lost a 4-2 match to Grace on Monday with Prestridge assisting on the Rams first goal.
The three pool winners, along with the second-place team that wins the tiebreakers, will advance to the semifinals on November 30. The championship game is on December 1 at 7:30 p.m. / 5:30 p.m. All the tournament games will be played at the Austin-Tindall Soccer Complex in Kissimmee.