BILLINGS – The Rocky Mountain College men’s soccer team knows it will take their best defensive performance of the season to find success at this week’s NAIA National Championship tournament. Luckily, that’s what got them here.
The Battlin’ Bears lead the nation with 13 shutouts this season in 22 matches. They’ve only given up 13 goals total, and haven’t surrendered more than two in any match.
“We’re really comfortable, the back four that we’ve got, and Kris the goalkeeper as well,” said senior defender Gregor Watson. “We’re really strong in that area of the field, so with that security back there, it allows players to push on forward and get some more goals.”
“We all got better in that defensive shape,” said midfielder Tulio Melo. “The seniors are stepping up and Kris in goal too is getting more confident every game, and I’m really excited. It’s working out really well for us.”
“These kids all work for each other and put the effort in, cover for each other, pressure the ball and make the other team cough it up,” echoed Rocky head coach Richard Duffy. “That’s something we’ve been doing well all season.”
Rocky beat No. 6 Hastings 3-2 in the opening round to advance to the NAIA National Championship tournament in Irvine, California. The Bears will play Vanguard University Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. MDT.