Score! It’s all about the chemistry, column by Lea Hippauf

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Are you interested in playing soccer on a high level and want to study on a unique campus? If so, you might consider joining the RMC soccer program which has attracted players from all over the world.4_12_16-027

Head Coach Richard Duffy stated, “Becoming a member of the RMC soccer family allows student-athletes to play in a competitive collegiate soccer program while also obtaining an outstanding education at a great liberal arts school.” RMC offers ideal conditions for student-athletes, who have to put much work and effort into their school and soccer lives. RMC’s Wendy’s Field is in good condition and we are also proud of getting a new turf field for practice too. For working on some more skills outside the practice hours, the players can go in the gym and when they want to improve their strength or conditioning, they can go in the lifting room or the room with treadmills. Also, if athletes want to do a regenerative practice they can grab a yoga mat, a black roll or go to the trainer for some treatment.

Since Coach Duffy came to the program in 2001, the Bears have shown more and more progress. Jerad Dickerson (for the men’s team) and Kevin Luse (for the women’s team), Duffy’s assistant coaches, also try hard to help make the teams great. The teams are becoming better from season to season. Last season, the women’s soccer team reached the playoffs, but then sadly lost the last game on penalties. The men’s soccer team was even better; they made it to the national tournament in Miami, Florida. “The goals for this team, as with every season, is to win a National Championship,” Duffy said. “The longer you coach the more you realize that it is not just about your overall winning percentage – you want to look back and say that you have won a National Championship. Obviously, this can be done by creating smaller goals that will in time turn into the larger goal.”

Coach Duffy has also done a good job with recruiting new players from all over the world. The men’s team is basically an international team, and it is the variety of players that makes the team so good. “I chose Rocky because of the good squad we had and the players coming in, [and] also because of Duffy being Scottish and helping me settle in,” said Steven Forbes, a freshman from Scotland. The team has some technically skilled players for every position. All in all, Forbes said, “The program is good and traveling to different states for each game is nice for me as I get to see a lot of the country.” Forbes just received two NAIA- Certificates at the end of last season. He was proud of the nomination for the first team all conference and for the newcomer of the year. Eddie Cass, who is a junior from England, got a NAIA- Certificate too, and is going towards professional soccer after his graduation.

The women’s team also has a few international players, and Duffy is planning on recruiting more. After the seniors, who are going to graduate this summer, are no longer part of the team, there will be a big hole to fill. The women’s soccer program currently has a roster of 16 players, so Duffy has to recruit a lot of new, dedicated players. One new player, Lisa Marie Lauter, who hails from Germany, just joined the program in January. Said Lauter, “It was a great decision to come to Billings. The team seems pretty good and they made it easy for me to settle. I am excited [to see] who else Duffy is going to recruit for fall.”

Duffy had to work hard to build a team at the beginning of each season because there are so many people from different cultures and it is a hard task for every coach to integrate new players in a team. But Duffy – and his teams – are mastering this task with flying colors and the teams have shown an incredible team spirit over the years. “Team chemistry is always the most important part of a team. I have had teams in the past that had better overall talent but lacked the team chemistry that last year’s team had,” Coach Duffy added. They make everyone feel welcome and give everyone the chance to show off and give their best. “Both, the men’s and women’s teams mix well and there is a good atmosphere,” one of the players said.

The goal for the next season is now set. Duffy wants to follow on his greatest success in 2007, when his team qualified for the NAIA National Tournament. The foundations have been laid, and we can hope for an outstanding season for the soccer teams next fall.

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