Coach Brian Byrd and the Rich Mountain Bucks men’s soccer team are headed to the playoffs! The Bucks clinched their postseason berth on Tuesday with a 0-0 tie against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College.
Prior to Tuesday, both the Rich Mountain men’s and women’s teams hosted Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa at Bearcat Stadium. The Bucks women’s team (2-12-3, 2-9-3) began the soccer action with a 1:00pm kickoff with the Mavericks (8-7-2, 7-5-2).
In the first half, the Bucks defense played well and shutout NOC to keep the score knotted at 0-0 at the halftime break. However, just seven minutes into the second period of play, Sofie Joergensen hit the back of the net to break the tie and give the Mavericks a 1-0 lead. Just under ten minutes later, NOC’s Skylar Yacham extended the Mavericks lead to 2-0, which ended up being the final score.
With the Rich Mountain women’s loss, the Bucks inaugural season comes to an end.
Moving on to the men’s contest on Sunday, the Bucks (5-4-5, 2-3-5) had their season on the line in a must-win ballgame. To move on to the playoffs, the Bucks would have to record a ‘W’ over the Mavericks (4-10-3, 3-5-2) of NOC.
Living up to the hype of the game, Rich Mountain’s Thomas Mullen put the Bucks on the scoreboard just 8 minutes into the match. Later in to the first period, Mackenzie Crerie scored a goal of his own, to extend Rich Mountain’s lead to 2-0 right before the half.
The Bucks continued to dominate the game in the second half. Mullen went on to score once more at the 54-minute mark, before Daniel Perez and Bo Meyer knocked in a goal each as well. When the final buzzer rang, the Bucks took home a 5-0 win, to extend their playoff hopes, which were answered on Tuesday.
Advancing to the playoffs, the Rich Mountain men’s team will hold the #3 seed in the Region II Tournament, and will compete at 2:30pm on Saturday against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Enid, Oklahoma.
Local star, Daniel Perez of Wickes, noted on going to the playoffs, “I’m super excited! Especially since this is our first year! It is a great feeling!”
A few other Buck athletes commented on the achievement of reaching the playoffs in their inaugural season. Josh Gounden (Durban, South Africa) stated, “I couldn’t be more excited! The boys really worked hard and deserve it!”
Captain Euwin Stevens (Cape Town, South Africa) mentioned, “It feels so good seeing all our hard work is paying off, and we just want to make the school and community proud. I hope that by doing this, they will continue to support our program because we appreciate the love.”
Speedy Cesar Requena (Lima, Peru) noted on his teams achievement, “It’s an incredible feeling. I am so blessed to be on a team that is making history for not only the school, but for the town.”
Lastly, Ireland native Thomas Mullen noted, “It feels good to be in the playoffs! I can’t wait to get playing again!”