Columbia Basin College

CBC men's soccer eyes NWAACC berth

There are only three sure things in life — death and taxes — and the Columbia Basin College men’s soccer team not losing when it scores a goal.

While that might not carry as much weight as Benjamin Franklin’s statement, it has held up for 16 games for the Hawks this season.

If CBC can make good on that trend one more time Saturday, they will be back in the NWAACC playoffs for the first time since 2006 and first time under coach Kyle Vierck.

“We are just humbled to be in this position,” the second-year coach said.

CBC (6-4-2) hosts Spokane (6-3-3) on Saturday in the season finale for both teams, needing at least a tie to clinch one of the top three playoff spots from the East Region.

Less than a week ago, the Hawks were the team on the outside looking in, heading into their toughest stretch of the season.

But thanks to three straight wins, CBC has a chance to win the region title for the first time since 1999.

The late-season charge began Oct. 24 with a 2-1 win over Wenatchee Valley.

The Hawks followed that win up with a 2-1 win over defending NWAACC champion and second-ranked Walla Walla four days later, thanks to a goal from Gavin Richter in the 89th minute.

Then last Wednesday, CBC had its best offense output of the season, putting five goals on then-fourth ranked Treasure Valley in a 5-2 win.

“We have gotten a lot of points fast,” Vierck said. “We felt like we were in a decent position, but we needed some wins.

In the matter of less than two weeks, CBC has won has many games as did in the first six weeks of league play.

Vierck said the turning point came after a 1-1 tie with Bellevue on Oct. 3.

“I didn’t feel we played that bad, but it wasn’t one of our best performances,” Vierck said. “At that point, we recommitted ourselves.”

Then with six games left in the season, Vierck figured his needed four victories to make a run at the playoffs. CBC has three.

“We’ve learned how to win,” he said. “We’re glad to be playing good soccer at this point in the season.”

-- The CBC women’s soccer team (13-2-1) clinched the second spot in the East Region for the third straight season last weekend. The Hawks, who are the defending NWAACC champions, will host Lane (4-5-3), the No. 3 seed from the South on Wednesday in Pasco.  The Titans have scored a modest 15 goals this season to 15 against.

-- Thanks to a six-goal performance by CBC sophomore forward Julissa Rodriguez against Yakima Valley on Wednesday, she all but assured herself of leading the NWAACC in goals scored. She now has 26 on the season, leading Walla Walla’s Kati Lucas, a former Richland standout, who has 21. Lucas will likely win the league’s scoring title. She currently has 34 points. Rodriguez is second with 30.

-- The CBC volleyball team stayed in the hunt for the fourth final East Region playoff spot with a four-set victory over Big Bend on Wednesday night. The Hawks (6-6) are tied with rival Walla Walla (6-6) fourth with two matches left in the regular season.

CBC hosts second-ranked Blue Mountain (10-1) tonight and then closes out the regular season Nov. 11 at home against Walla Walla. Both teams swept CBC earlier this season in three sets.

The Warriors host Yakima Valley (1-10) today before closing the season out against the Hawks.

CBC is seeking its 18th appearance at the NWAACC tournament in 22 seasons under coach John Patrick, who announced that he was resigning at the end of the season.