December 09, 2010
It was a record-breaking year for the men’s soccer team, which advanced farther than ever before in Rollins’ history. Rollins consistently ranked in the top 25 in the nation throughout the entire 2010 season. Although the championship trophy eluded the Tars in the end, few could be disappointed by the team’s historic performance.
"I could not be more proud of this team," said Head Coach Keith Buckley. "Time and time again this season they were down, but never out. Without question, they represented themselves, the program and Rollins College with extreme class and earned a lot of respect. We didn't come out on top, but enjoyed the ride and we proudly take the runner-up trophy back to Winter Park."
While men’s soccer has won the Sunshine State Conference for the two years in a row, advancing into the final four was a historic first. On November 20, 2010, The College hosted the NCAA Division II South Region Tournament, beating out Clayton State 3-2 in an exciting double overtime match that advanced the team into the semi-finals in Louisville Kentucky.
The fifth-ranked Tars met second-ranked Midwestern State on December 2, 2010, in the first semifinal game. A 2-1 victory pushed the Tars into the finals against Northern Kentucky.
Nearly 200 Rollins fans including students, parents, and alumni, braved the chilly weather in Louisville to cheer on the team. Flurries turned into an all-out winter storm by kick-off and conditions deteriorated throughout the game. Despite clearing the pitch at the half, the artificial turf at Frazier Stadium in Louisville was completely covered in two inches of snow by game's end.
"We did the best we possibly could in difficult conditions," said Buckley. "The problem is we don't have too much snow in Florida. We just didn't know how to play, and we tried to play a normal way and it wasn't working."
Down 2-0 in the first half, the Tars evened the score early in the second, but a late Northern Kentucky (NKU) goal proved to the be game winner as the fifth-ranked Rollins men's soccer team fell 3-2 to NKU in the NCAA Division II National Championship game.
Rollins' most successful soccer season in its 54-year history came to an end with a stellar record of 15-4-3.