BILLINGS – Rocky Mountain College is playing terrific soccer right now. Turns out both the men’s and women’s teams have starting goalkeepers from Billings West High School.
For the past four years, Cole Catlin has made incredible save after incredible save for Rocky’s soccer men. The former West High Bear is currently on a 318-minute scoreless streak and has 15 career shutouts for the green and gold.
But that might not be enough for the school record the way Maia Wetzel is playing.
“Maia’s been exceptional for us,” said Rocky head coach Richard Duffy. “She’s probably been our most consistent player this year, she makes saves a lot of goalkeepers wouldn’t get.”
“She’s unbelievable. She’s honestly helped a tremendous amount,” said teammate Lauryn Gamache. “Without her, I honestly don’t think we would have won all the games.”
Wetzel is the latest West High alum to dominate in goal for Rocky. The true freshman won the starting job in fall camp, and hasn’t looked back.
“As I’m playing, I’m kind of getting more of the grip on the game and how to play more fast-paced,” said Wetzel. “I’m definitely getting my confidence.”
Wetzel has allowed just one goal during Rocky’s three-game winning streak, which includes her first two career shutouts, after adjusting to the big difference in college.
“Well, first of all, the shots are way harder,” she said. “My hands really hurt after them, but other than that … ”
Wetzel showed her potential as a two-time all-state goalie at West, but wasn’t sure how that would translate to the next level.
“I was kind of cautious coming here, because it’s in the same town I’ve been in my whole life,” she said, “but it’s really secluded actually. It feels a lot different than I thought it would. It doesn’t really feel like Billings, it just feels like Rocky, so it’s been really easy. They’ve been extremely nice. I really just bonded with all of them. I literally love every single girl on the team. I just feel so comfortable here and I love it.”
After finishing under .500 last year, Rocky’s girls are 8-2 and sit third in the Cascade Conference. It’s easy to win when the other team can’t score.
Rocky’s men and women play Friday at Corban University in Salem, Oregon, at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Mountain Time, respectively.