SALT LAKE CITY -- The men's soccer team at Rocky Mountain College is headed to the NAIA championship tournament for the first time.
Freshman center midfielder Jack Clancy scored two goals and the No. 24-ranked Battlin' Bears fought off No. 21 Martin Methodist College of Tennessee 2-1 on Saturday in the championship match for the Frontier/TranSouth Unaffiliated Group and claim the automatic berth to nationals.
"It is a great win for us. We have worked hard all year to get to this point," RMC assistant soccer coach Jared Dickerson said. "We look forward to next weekend now that we have won this one."
Playing on the artificial turf at Westminster College, Clancy, from Dublin, Ireland, scored his goals at the 16:07 and 74:53 marks. He was assisted by Mikey Wall and Nick Heffernan.
Dickerson said that Clancy just recently started playing center midfield. He was a defender until switching against Jamestown Oct. 28.
"We moved him to the center midfield position. He has been doing really well for us," Dickerson said. "The last two games he's scored for us. He has stepped up to the plate and has been consistently good in that role."
This is just the fourth season for the Rocky men's program. The Bears, 13-2-2 on the season, will find out their first-round opponent on Sunday.
The opening round of the NAIA tournament will be held Nov. 17 on campus sites across the country.
Martin Methodist, from Pulaski, Tenn., finished its season at 11-6.
Rocky and Martin Methodist were tied at 1-1 at intermission. Jonathan Cabale scored the RedHawks' lone goal at 39:32.
Both teams finished with 11 shots.
Junior Joachim Soderstrom was the winning goalie for Rocky. He had three saves.
Martin Methodist women 6, Rocky 2
Playing at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., Rocky's women, ranked 20th nationally, fell to No. 10-ranked Martin Methodist, 6-2.
The Bears led early 1-0 behind Mandi Achten's quick goal, but the RedHawks' Mor Efraim assisted on Jennifer Loewen's tying goal and then added two of her own as Martin Methodist led 4-1 at intermission.
Efraim finished with three goals for the 15-3 RedHawks, who qualified for nationals for the ninth time.
Martin Methodist won national titles in 2005 and 2007.
Senior midfielder Kirsty Montignani scored Rocky's final goal at the 89:25 mark. It was her 21st goal of the season.
Martin Methodist outshot Rocky, 15-8. Winning goalie Meaghan Storie had two saves.
The women's first-round pairings for NAIA tournament will also be announced on Sunday.
Rocky's women will now have to wait and hope for an at-large berth to the championships.