Idaho Rush alum wins national championship


soderlundIdaho Rush alum Michael Soderlund's Indiana Hoosiers won their eighth national championship with a 1-0 win over Georgetown. Soderlund was red-shirting this season and did not play in the regular season or tournament, but was on the sideline for the national championship match. He is expected to be the starting goalkeeper next year for the Hoosiers.

Indiana completed a miracle run through the NCAA tournament, defeating top-seeded Notre Dame and longtime rival North Carolina along the way. In the final, Nikita Kotlov scored in the 65th minute and solid goalkeeping from senior Luis Soffner made the lead stand up. Soffner's play during the season has earned him a spot at the MLS Combine early next year. Soderlund said his relationship with Soffner and two years of training with the Hoosiers has prepared him to take the starting role next year.

More than a dozen Idaho Rush alums are heading into post-season play with their college teams over the next couple of weeks, including 12 players competing in the national finals.

Update: Monday, Nov. 26

Indiana University

The Hoosiers advanced to the national quarterfinals on Sunday with a 2-1 win in double overtime over top-seeded Notre Dame. Notre Dame grabbed a 1-0 lead early in the second half, but Indiana equalized less than a minute later. The 1-1 scoreline stood for the remainder of regular time and through the first overtime before Eriq Zavaleta won it for the Hoosiers in the 102nd minute. Indiana advances to play ninth-seeded North Carolina on Friday at Chapel Hill, N.C. Idaho Rush sophomore goalkeeper Michael Soderlund plays for the Hoosiers, but did not play in Sunday's match.


Update: Monday, Nov. 19

Indiana University

The Hoosiers cruised past Xavier University 4-1 in the second round of the NCAA Div. I national tournament and will face top-seeded Notre Dame on Sunday in the Sweet 16. Indiana scored first on a goal from Nikkita Kotlov in the 18th minute. Xavier equalized before the break, but the Hoosiers banged home three goals in a 15-minute span in the second half -- including two more from Kotlov -- to bring home the win. Sophomore Idaho Rush alum Michael Soderlund did not appear in the game.

Walla Walla CC

Walla Walla reached the finals of the NWAACC tournament before falling 1-0 to Peninsula (Wash.) College on a 88th minute goal. The Warriors reached the final by beating Highline (Wash.) Community College 3-2 on Saturday. In the final, Walla Walla used scrappy defense and solid goaltending to keep the scoresheet clean in a game played in the driving rain in Tukwila. But the Pirate chances eventually overwhelmed the Warriors, and Alex Martinez turned on a ball inside the penalty area and slotted it home for the game-winner. Idaho Rush alums Jake Helm, Andres Idoeta and Kyle Menchaca play for the Warriors.

Grand Canyon University

A late goal killed the 'Lopes hopes of a national title run as Grand Canyon fell to Simon Frasure 2-1 in the third round of the NCAA DIv. II national tournament. The Clan scored in the first half and held the 1-0 lead until the 66th minute, when Grand Canyon forward Saeed Robinson equalized from the penalty spot. Simon Frasure got the game winner in the 86th minute to seal the win. Idaho Rush alums Yared Solscheid and Mehmed Selimovic both played in the game. The Clan advance to the national quarterfinals, while the 'Lopes finish the season at 15-3-2.

Embry-Riddle University

The Eagles lost in the first round of the NAIA national finals, 3-1 to Concordia (Ore.) University. Enbry-Riddle was within striking distance at 1-0 into the second half despite several scoring opportunities by the Cavaliers. The Cavs finally pushed their lead to 3-0 with goals in the 71st and 80th minutes. The Eagles rallied for a goal in the 86th minute but ran out of time to draw closer. Embry-Riddle, making its first-ever appearance at the national tournament, finishes the season at 14-3-3. Idaho Rush alum Andrew Delarosa plays for the Eagles.

Update: Wednesday, Nov. 14

Indiana University

Indiana Univeristy earned an at-large bid to the men's NCAA Div. I National Tournament on Monday and was placed as a 16th seed. The seeding means the Hoosiers get a first-round bye in the tournament and will face the winner of Thursday's Kentucky/Xavier match. Indiana will open its tournament run on Sunday at 11 a.m. MST at home in Bloomington, Ind. Former Idaho Rush goalkeeper Micheal Soderlund is on the Hoosiers' roster but has not played this year in an effort to complete a red-shirt season.

Update: Tuesday, Nov. 13

Northwest College

Northwest College (Powell, Wyo.) dropped its first two games of the National Junior College Athletic Association national championships, eliminating them from championhip contention. The Trappers ran into a buzzsaw in the first game, losing 4-0 to third-ranked and unbeaten Louisburg College (Louisburg, N.C.). Things got a little better Tuesday morning as the Trappers, playing on only 18 hours of rest, lost 2-0 to eighth-ranked Cincinnati State. Northwest, ranked 18th in the country, ended its season with a 17-8 record. Three former Idaho Rush players -- Nate Hunt, Will Moats and Kevin Fekete, all freshmen -- play for the Trappers.

Update: Monday, Nov. 11

Grand Canyon University

The 'Lopes advanced to the regional finals of the NCAA Div. II national championships in dramatic fashion, beating Cal State-Los Angeles in PKs on Saturday. Grand Canyon took the early lead on a header from Adam Finnefrock in the 21st minute, but CSLA equalized on a dramatic header from Rosario Bras with only minutes left in the match. The Eagles kept up the pressure in extra time, forcing 'Lopes goalkeeper Josh Zehring into several good saves. Neither team could find the winner, though, and the game was settled from the penalty spot.

Freshman Yared Solcheid was the only Idaho Rush alum to play in the game, although the roster boasts five former Rush players. Yared played for about 25 minutes in the first half, about 15 minutes in the second half, and he started the first extra time period.

The 'Lopes advance to play second-ranked and top-seeded Simon Frasure University in the Sweet 16. The exact time and date of the game has not been announced. Interestingly, Simon Frasure, of Vancouver, British Columbia, became the first non-American school to win an NCAA tournament game when they beat Cal State-Stanislaus 2-1 in the second round.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautics University

The Eagles won their first Cal-Pac Conference championship in their first year of membership, rolling through the four-team tournament with a 4-0 win over Simpson University (Calif). in the semifinals and a 2-0 win over Menlo College (Calif.) in the finals. Freshman Andrew Delarosa, an Idaho Rush alum, plays for the Eagles.

The Eagles (12-2-3 overall) advance to the 32-team NAIA national championship tournament, which begins Nov. 17. They will face Concordia College (Ore.) in Portland in the first round. Game time has not been announced.

Walla Walla CC

The Warriors rallied with three goals in the final 10 minutes to get past Tacoma Community College in the first round of the NWAACC Tournament on Sunday. The Titans got on the board first with a goal in the 16th minute. It stayed that way until the 80th minute, when Max Smith equalized. Ivan Chamorro, the Warriors' leading scorer all season, put the Warriors ahead in the 81st minute and struck again in extra time to seal the deal.

Walla Walla, staffed with three Idaho Rush alums, advances to the conference semifinals and will play Highline CC (Des Moines, Wash.) Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (MST) for a berth in the finals.

Update: Friday, Nov. 9

Grand Canyon University

Five players at Grand Canyon University (Phoenix) will begin play on Saturday in the second round of the men's NCAA Div. II national tournament. The 'Lopes will face Cal State-Los Angeles at 5 p.m. MST in Phoenix. As the second seed in Super Region 3, Grand Canyon had a bye for the first round.

Sophomores Yared Solscheid and Anel Smajic have both seen significant playing time for the 'Lopes this season, with Solscheid starting in 14 games and Smajic playing in 10 of the Lopes' 18 games. Freshman Mehmed Selimovic has one goal in seven appearances, while redshirt freshmen Admir Selimovic and Steve Garcia have combined for 11 appearances this season.

Seattle Pacific University

Grand Canyon's tournament opener was almost a reunion of sorts with two former Idaho Rush players who play for Seattle Pacific University. SPU lost in the opening round of the tournament to Cal State-Los Angeles on Thursday night. Had they won, the Falcons would have faced Grand Canyon on Saturday.

Freshmen Bryson Pavel and Garrett Jones both play for the Falcons. Pavel started four games this season and appeared in 16 of the Falcons games. Jones played in 13 of the Falcons' 18 games. Freshman Graham Reid is also on the roster for the Falcons, but was injued for the entire season. All three players spent almost their entire youth career with Idaho Rush.

Northwest College

Three more former Rush players are also headed to a big stage, the men's Div. I national championships of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Nate Hunt, Will Moats and Kevin Fekete are key members of the Northwest College (Powell, Wyo.) squad that upset third-ranked Yavapai College (Prescott, Ariz.) and rival Western Wyoming Community College (Rock Springs, Wyo.) at the Region IX Tournament last week.

The 11th-seeded Trappers open play Monday against third-seeded Louisburg (Louisburg, N.C.) in Albany, Ga. The Trappers are in a group with Louisburg and sixth-seeded Cincinnati St. (Ohio). The Trappers must win their group to advance to Friday's semifinals.


  • The Warriors of Walla Walla Community College open play in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) tournament on Monday against Tacoma Community College. Three former Rush players -- Jake Helm, Andres Idoeta and Kyle Menchaca-- play for the Warriors.
  • Spokane Community College lost in the opening round of the NWAACC Tournament on Wednesday 2-1 to Chemeketa CC. Freshmen Michael Kingsley plays for the Sasquatches.
  • Andrew Delarosa will try to help the 18th-ranked Embry-Riddle Eagles win the NAIA Califonia Pacific Conference championship in the team's first year of membership. The Eagles enter the four-team tournament as the top seed. They begin play in the semifinals on Friday.
  • Freshman Debbie Ryan's Lady Bison of Oklahoma Baptist University (Shawnee, Okla.) lost in the final of the NAIA Sooner Athletic Conference tournament 1-0 to Oklahoma City University. The Stars are the sixth-ranked team in the country and have won 11 national championships since 1994. The Lady Bison end the season at 9-8-1.
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