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Morton College
3801 South Central Avenue
Cicero IL 60804-4398

PH: 708-656-8000 X 2370
FX: 708-656-3161

Dr. Dana Grove

Athletic Director
Rich Fullriede

Athletic Trainer
Heather Smott

Sports Information Director
Jim O'Connell

General email


FTE Enrollment

College News
Wonderful day for men's soccer: First Region IV title in program history and coach's 200th win
November 3, 2014

Juan Franco's beard was covered with frosting and there still might be some pieces of cake left on his face two days later, but the longtime Morton College men's soccer coach is still relishing the taste of the sweetest victory in his career.

Morton College finally captured that elusive Region IV championship with a 3-1 win over the College of DuPage November 1 at the Antonio Carbajal Soccer Complex in Cicero.

The win, which moves the Panthers into the Great Lakes District title game for the first time in college history, also was the 200th victory in Franco's career.

"It is like a miracle," said Franco, who is 200-104-32 in 17 seasons at Morton College. "We finally got here. This is something I can't find the words to describe how I feel. We have really great players and a great team."

The Panthers (17-1-4) face NJCAA Division I defending champion Iowa Western for the Great Lakes District championship at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 8, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, with the winner headed to the national tournament. The Reivers (20-0-1) are ranked second nationally and carry a 46-match unbeaten streak into the contest.

"Every time I've been here, it never happens for some reason," Franco said. "The guys stayed focused and now we move on to play in Iowa."

This time, the right combination of luck and skill were on Morton College's side. The Panthers were lucky to escape the opening half ahead 1-0 on Daniel Reyes' tally as a pair of DuPage shots clanged off the crossbar.

With the game even at 1, Franco reinserted Morton College's version of the Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in Maxwell Ejigou and Sergio Otalora. They quickly made a difference with Ejigou, who earlier assisted on Reyes' goal, scored off a rebound of an Otalora shot at the 65th minute for his 14th tally of the campaign. Otalora converted a penalty kick 14 minutes later to score in his sixth straight game, bringing his season total to 19 goals and eight assists.

"Once Maxwell scored, that gave us a shot of energy and made us believe," Otalora said.

Men's soccer advances to Region IV championship game
October 30, 2014

Each step Morton College takes in the Region IV men's soccer tournament,the Panthers reach another milestone.

The Panthers set a school record for victories with their 16th coming in a 3-0 win over McHenry October 29 at the Antonio Carbajal Soccer Complex in Cicero.

That enabled the Panthers (16-1-4) to reach another milestone as they host the College of DuPage at noon Saturday, November 1, in the Region IV championship in Cicero. In addition to long-time men's soccer coach Juan Franco going for his 200th career win, the Panthers are shooting for the program's first appearance in the Great Lakes District title game held the following Saturday in Iowa. Franco's record is 199-104-32 in 17 seasons at Morton College.

The College of DuPage (8-9-1) advanced by upsetting 10th-ranked Oakton 2-1 October 29. Morton and DuPage have met this season with the Panthers winning 4-0 October 2.

Downey doubles down to win Skyway/Region IV cross country crown
October 29, 2014

With the Illinois Skyway/Region IV women's cross country race turned into a combined race and not run on separate weekends, the proverbial "all the marbles" were on the line October 25 at St. James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville.
Morton College's Sierra Downey was good and she had to be as any of the top three finishers would have won handily in any other year. It was the first time in Skyway history that the top three all went sub-19:30.

The Stickney resident completed the 5-kilometer course in a personal-best of 19:16.3, nudging out Waubonsee's Amanda Lesak (19:18.7) and 2013 Skyway champ Aileen Gorman of Moraine Valley (19:28.4), to punch her ticket to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I finals Saturday, November 8, at the Shadow Hills Golf Course in Lubbock, Texas.

The first eight days in November will be sweet, but hectic for the Downey family. In addition to Sierra competing on the national stage at the NJCAA finals, the Downey family's business, Old Fashioned Candies in Berwyn, will celebrate their 45th year in business with a ceremony on Wednesday, November 5th.

Downey is one of the joys in community college athletics, the gift basket that unexpectedly arrives at your front door. She transferred in from Loyola University Chicago when being undecided in a major didn't justify the paying the school's hefty price tag.

Morton College women's cross country coach Gus Coronado projects Downey is capable of finishing in the top 25 at nationals.

"We're lucky to have her," Coronado said. "Runners like her don't come around very often. She's worked really hard and I definitely feel she could be top 25 in the nation."

Downey, who ran cross country and track at Morton High School, also didn't realize how much she missed the sport.

"The smartest thing to do was get the gen ed (general education) courses out of the way for a lot less money," Downey said. "I thought I could take a break from the sport, but I missed it so much. It's something I want to continue."

The 6 a.m. practices gave Downey the discipline she needed to become a champion. She is Morton College's first conference champion since Paola Salazar in 2011 and first Region IV winner since Ashley Quiles in 2007.

"I felt like I ran my best race so far," Downey said. "I could have pushed it more at the end. I definitely tried. I was getting nervous that the second girl was going to get me."

A healthy case of nervous energy benefits Downey, who added, "If I'm too calm, I know I'm not ready. I channel my nervousness toward my running."

The NJCAA meet will be the biggest stage Downey has performed on. She missed qualifying for state in high school by sixth-tenths of a second in the 800-meter run.

"I've never been in a race like that," Downey said, "with more elite runners. Coach says I can finish in the top 25. I have to be ready for whatever happens."

Morton College didn't have enough runners to register in the team standings, but Sara Sanchez also garnered all-Skyway honors with her ninth-place showing in 21:17.6. Adilenne Ramirez was 12th in the Skyway race at 22:01.5, missing all-Skyway accolades by two spots.

The Morton College men were third in both the Skyway and Region IV races. Eric Diaz and Patricio Echeverria earned all-Skyway honors by placing sixth (27:55.7) and seventh (28:06.7), respectively, on the 8-kilometer course. Both also earned all-Region IV honors and qualified for the NJCAA Division I meet November 8 in Texas.

Morton College hosts #13 Ancilla 15-3-1 and Kennedy King 13-2-3
October 27, 2014

Morton College Men's Soccer Faced Ancilla and Kennedy King

Cicero, IL - The Morton Panthers Finished the regular season with a record of 15-1-4. It's inarguable that one of the best teams in Region 4 goes to Morton. They finished in the Region with the highest goal difference, scoring more than any other team and allowing the least goals in the Premiership group.

Morton this past week faced #13 Nationally ranked Ancilla College 15-3-1 and came up with a Tie 3-3. With several players out including their best defender Morton knew this wasn't going to be an easy game. Morton quickly scored 3 goals in the first half (1st, 10th, 37th minute) while Ancilla scored once in the 16th minute.

Coach Franco said, "I knew this was going to be an interesting 2nd half as Ancilla was rotating their players heavily and using their depth and I knew they were going to slowly get into the game as it progressed."

Ancilla eventually was able to equalize 2 goals and was clear that they were able to take advantage of Morton's injuries. The game was mostly battled out in the middle of the field and as a result the number of shots from both teams was low. Both Morton and Ancilla end with 3-3 Tie.

On Saturday October 25th, Morton faced Kennedy King in the Quarter-finals. Kennedy King with a record of 13-2-3 was the new upcoming team of the Region. Outscoring various teams by big margins, they were the team that many wanted to avoid going into playoffs.

Maxwell Ejiogu scored in the 1st half in the 20th minute from an assist from Sergio Otalora. Then in the 35th minute Oluwashina Obidran scored a goal when Alexis Hidalgo took a shot that was blocked by Fernando Marquez and was scooped up by Oluwashina. Both teams took several shots and were getting good opportunities at goal but Morton was once again able to score on a Penalty by Sergio in the second half 15th minute when Daniel Hernandez infiltrated the Kennedy defense and was fouled on the box. The game ended with a 2-1 Victory for Morton giving them their 15th win and Kennedy King's 3rd loss knocking them out of the Region Tournament.

Coach Franco, "Kennedy King is a great competitor and it was not an easy win but my players did a good job defensively today and this won us the game."

Morton's next game is the Semifinal game against McHenry on Wednesday, October 29 at 3pm at Home on Carbajal Field.

Morton College Men's Soccer Continues to Rack up Victories
October 1, 2014

Morton College Men's Soccer Continues to Rack up Victories

Cicero, IL - With a record of 10-1-3 Morton continues to win with 38 goals (2.7 per game), 12 goals against (0.85 per game) in 14 games. It's obvious that Morton's success is due to its Defensive prowl in the back including the excellent goalkeeping. Coach Franco, "We have so many excellent defensive minded players that it's been a team effort. Our offense is consistently been improving and it's a matter of time when this team will breakout offensively." With their first 5 games being away games the Morton College Men's Soccer team reached a milestone of not conceding one goal until their 7th game. In their first 14 games only 5 have been at home this proves the difficulty at which the program has been playing.

Coach Franco, "There's been several good teams that have played us well some of them the top in our Region and are National recognized. Since playing Carthage we came in with a few injuries and it's been affecting our game ever since. But this is turning into an opportunity for those that don't start to gain confidence.  We've played Carthage, Owens, Moraine, South Sub, Oakton and Kennedy King with various starters out and we managed to do well. We played Owens with a T 2-2 in 2OT, We lost against Oakton in 2OT 4-3 (Our only lost), and we tied 2-2 Kennedy-King in 2OT. I have a firm belief that if we didn't have those injuries we would still be goalless and the results would have been different but it's good that someone broke the ice so we can focus on the team offense."

Coach Javier, "We got a great team they are fun to watch they are making a name for themselves as a group which make this team's focus special. This team works towards the same goal so they sacrifice themselves with hard work in and outside of the field."

Coach Alex, "The team has done well. they were a bit rusty with the first two home games against (Prairie and Moraine). They finally played their 3rd home with South Sub and managed to win 2-0 with only 10 men on the field the second half. I agree they are a good group and fun to watch. They go out there to battle and play their game. As Coaches we do our job to analyze the "opportunities", the team offense and maintaining the team healthy. Our physical trainer Heather has had her hands full but she's helped in the recovery of our guys.  I do believe in this team...I believe because they believe"

Morton faced undefeated Kennedy King last Thursday. Morton in 2OT had the opportunity to win the game in 2nd overtime as a ball going into the net was intentionally blocked out with the hand resulting in a red card and a penalty in the remaining 25 seconds. Unfortunately the ball went wide which resulted in a 2-2 tie with Kennedy King.  This week Morton also faced Carl Sandburg at Galesburg and it resulted with a 7-2 win and Lake County at home with a 4-0 win. The Coaches' were expecting a break through offensively and a increased contribution from the bench maybe this was it.

Morton's next game is Dupage on Thursday, October 2 at 4pm at Home on Carbajal Field (Regional game). Also make sure to mark down on your calendar for the Homecoming Game which will be on Saturday October 11 against Trinity Christian College JV at 7pm at Home on Carbajal Field. There will be a halftime show and our mascot "Panther" will be in attendance giving away gifts. 

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