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Camden County advances to NJCAA Division III national championship

The Cougars advanced past host Herkimer on PKS after a scoreless 110 minutes

It’s taken almost five years, but Camden County College will get a rematch of the national championship final they lost in 2016.

The Cougars advanced on PKs against host Herkimer College after a scoreless draw and two scoreless 10-minute overtime periods to get back to the national final where they will face Dallas-Richland. The Thunderducks beat Camden 4-0 in the 2016 final.

Camden County played with 10 men from the 33rd minute on after leading goal-scorer Pablo Marques was shown a second yellow card. Despite being short-handed, they controlled possession and created a bulk of the chances but weren’t able to find a breakthrough in a chippy affair that saw the referee give out seven yellow cards.

After the two scoreless overtime periods, Camden County goalkeeper Manuel Ploner put the Cougars on the front foot with a save of the first penalty.

After the starting Herkimer goalkeeper’s attempt hit the crossbar and bounced out, Max Norden stepped to the spot and converted the clinching penalty that set off a celebration on Herkimer’s home turf.

Camden County lost to Herkimer in the 2019 semifinal and to Genesee in the 2017 semifinal. Saturday’s final kicks off at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast live on the NJCAA Network.