Bellevue College’s Soccer Teams Have a Successful Season

Dayna Verlinsky // The Watchdog

The soccer season was a rousing success for both Bellevue College teams. The men’s team clinched second in the North Region of the Northwest Athletic Conference with a 9-2-5 total record (6-1-5 in conference), and even unseated Lane in the first round of the championship before they were sent home by the first seed in the West, Highline.

They played an amazingly consistent season, placing in the top 15 (of 25 teams) in just about every statistic. Forward Parfait Ngandu led the team in goals (eight), assists (five) and total points (21) over 16 games played. His 1.31 points per game was a head and shoulders above the midfielder Rex Noffsinger.

Goalie Jackson Buck remained on duty for 15 of the 16 total games played, allowing an even one goal per game on average. He was also the first line of defense in five shutouts that the Bellevue team won over the course of the season.

It was an impressive debut for coach John Buttle in his NWAC debut after serving as an assistant coach for the past two years. He snuck into his playoffs in 2021, his first year as an assistant, before being unseated in the first round by Rogue. After missing playoffs last year, coach Buttle directed a tremendous campaign, outscoring his opposition 2-1 on average every game, which will practically guarantee success year-over-year.

The women’s team put up a nearly identical total record of 9-3-4, but clinched the third seed in the North behind tremendous showings from Skagit Valley (12-2-2) and Peninsula (16-0-3). In the first round of the playoffs, they demolished Lane 6-0 before tying with Spokane 2-2 in the second round. They unfortunately lost on penalty kicks, ending an otherwise successful season.

The Bulldogs were a powerhouse on offense, boasting the sixth-most goals scored in the NWAC. Forward Kayleigh Acree found herself tied for third in goals scored with 14. They were largely the antithesis of the men’s team, who scored two goals for everyone they allowed. The women’s team, by contrast, scored a whopping 3.77 goals per game. They scored six goals or more five separate times throughout the season, including their first playoff bout. Meanwhile, they only allowed more than two goals twice throughout the season: a 9-4 win over Whatcom and a 4-1 loss to Peninsula. It was unfortunate that Spokane ended up unseating them in the playoffs, being one of the five teams with more goals this season.

It was a great bounce-back year for coach Richard Romain-Dika, who had missed the playoffs in every year since the COVID-shortened 2020-21 year, when they were on pace to go undefeated.

Both soccer teams took unfortunate exits from the championship bracket, but both should be proud to have made it there. They played winning soccer throughout the season, and with stars like Acree returning again next year, there’s no reason to think they won’t achieve similar success next year.