It is not common to see two college sports programs managed by one head coach. That is the case for the Rocky Mountain College men’s and women’s soccer teams, which are both managed and coached by Richard Duffy. Two teams under one coach may seem like a challenge at first, but the win/loss records of both teams say otherwise. The women’s team finished the season with 13-3-1 and 9-2-0 in the Cascade Conference while the men’s team finished 15-1-1 on the season and 11-1-1 in the Cascade Conference.
Coach Duffy’s progress as a soccer coach is backed up by the all-Cascade Conference awards recently earned by seven of the men’s soccer players. All-first team selections were made to sophomore Marco Kummerle, junior Trulio Melo, and junior Gregor Watson. Second-team selections were awarded to junior Lucas Weichers and seniors Cole Catlin and Matthew Thomas. Standout player Chase LaShure was also recognized as an honorable mention pick. At the time of the awards ceremony, the men were nationally ranked at No. 8 in the nation.
“I think our success this season has come from everyone buying into what we are doing and working hard everyday to make sure we are continually getting better,” said senior goalkeeper Cole Catlin.
On the other hand, the women’s soccer team played in the first round of the conference tournament, and the game against the College of Idaho Yotes was a tie as the teams used up both regulation time and double overtimes. The women’s soccer team finished the 2017 season with a record of 13-3-1 and the second highest winning percentage in the history of the program. The RMC women’s soccer team has a young roster with only three seniors graduating.
The men’s soccer team made it to the semifinals of the Cascade conference tournament, beating Evergreen University 4-0 in the first round. The Battlin’ Bears fell in the semifinal round to Corban University, being outscored 4-2 in a penalty shootout. “Everyone was upset after the penalty kicks,” said Catlin. “But we all know what we are capable of and have taken it in stride and used it as an opportunity to get better.” Corban was defeated in the championship round to Southern Oregon University. Jace Beck and Pablo Ferreira scored the two goals for RMC in the shootout.
The men’s soccer is in waiting for a bid in the national championship tournament. “We are hoping for a home game bid in the national tournament, but crazier things have happened” said Cole Catlin. “Our plan is to win, a lot of us have been there [in the national tournament] and we are hoping our experience pays off.”
The selection show for the NAIA national soccer tournament took place on Nov. 13 at 1p.m. for both the men’s and women’s national soccer bids. Unfortunately, both of the teams were not selected for the national tournament. RMC senior, Matt Thomas, commented that the way the teams are picked for the national tournament changed this year. “They usually do it by ranking,” said Thomas. “But this year they had a committee and the team that got selected over us had their coach on it. They were ranked No. 18 and we were No. 12, so it’s kind of messed up.” The men’s soccer team finished the season with an overall record of 16-1-2 on the season, and 11-1-1 in the Cascade Conference.