OLYMPIA, Wash. – With a total of nine goals scored, it was the Rocky Mountain Battlin’ Bears who came out on top, defeating the Evergreen Geoducks, 6-3, in a non-conference NAIA men’s soccer match on Monday afternoon at Evergreen Pitch in Olympia, Wash.
Rocky Mountain (4-0-0) opened up the scoring in just the 12th minute when Brandon Loeffler fired in a rocket from about six yards out that got past Evergreen keeper Mitch Treend (Vancouver, Wash./Prairie HS). RMC made it 2-0 in the 20th minute when Nick Heffernan took advantage from a free kick to score.
The Battlin’ Bears extended the lead to 3-0 just a minute later when Heffernan fed in a ball to Oliver Gore, who sprinted up the field and finished from the top of the box. Loeffler scored again in the 26th minute on the assist from Heffernan, firing in a ball from point blank for the 4-0 lead.
The Geoducks finally got on the board in the 28th minute when Kevin Flavin (Oak Harbor, Wash./Shoreline CC) put in a cross that was put in the net by a Rocky Mountain defender for an own goal. Evergreen scored the most impressive goal of the game in the 51st minute when Jeff Roland (Windsor, Colo./Windsor HS) fired in a cross and 5-foot, 7-inch Brandon Wood came flying in to head the ball past RMC keeper Joachim Soderstrom to cut the deficit to just two goals at 4-2.
Unfortunately for the Geoducks, the Battlin’ Bears answered back in the 52nd minute as Heffernan picked up his third assist on a feed to Michael Eggen, who finished from 10 yards out for the score. Rocky Mountain scored the next goal as well, as Heffernan assisted for a fourth time, feeding in a free kick from about 30 yards out in the 61st minute to the waiting head of Mikey Wall to push the lead to 6-2.
Evergreen scored the final goal as junior Brady Espinoza (Pasco, Wash./Walla Walla CC) scored his second goal of the year off a beautiful free kick from about 30 yards out that flew past Soderstrom.
Rocky Mountain outshot Evergreen, 13-8, on the afternoon. Treend finished with three saves for the Geoducks while Soderstrom made three saves for Rocky Mountain before leaving the game in the 80th minute.
Evergreen will take a break before their next game as they open up Cascade Conference play on Sept. 14 at home against College of Idaho. Kick with the Coyotes is set for 3 p.m. at Evergreen Pitch in Olympia, Wash.