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Rock Valley College mens’ soccer makes history

This is the first time the team has been ranked in a season and has made it to nationals
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 11:03 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - For the Rock Valley College men’s soccer team, there have certainly been lows, especially last year after the soccer season went into quarantine.

“When you have a pandemic that nearly shuts everything down, or practically did shut everything down, you don’t get to be hands-on with the athletes,” said head coach Tim Romanello.

But even after less hands-on and in-person practices, the golden eagles continued to condition and prepare for battle and what would be a year of firsts starting with being a ranked team for the first time ever.

“You’re going to remember that for the rest of your life,” Romanello said. “That is going to stick with you because it’s a monumental occasion, the first team to ever do it in the history of the program. That’s a big deal.”

To add more pizzazz to the ranked golden eagles, it was the first time they won an at-large bid to the national tournament in New York.

“Seeing us get the recognition that we deserve meant a lot for us,” said freshman right back Victor Munoz.

The next stop is a first trip to nationals and looking for the first national championship, but even after a winning season, Rock Valley still has work to do against their first opponent in the tournament. It’s the No. 2 ranked Camden cougars.

“I feel like they’re more afraid than we are,” Munoz said. “They’re like, ‘who’s Rock Valley?’ You know, they’re afraid. They had a good season, but they’re looking at us I believe. We’re going in there with everything we have, and we’re not focusing on them being the No. 2 seed or anything.”

It’s a season of firsts but forever a heart for the game. The golden eagles are ready to soar.

“Now you have to prove if you can compete with the top five teams in the country,” Romanello said.

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