In a stunning display of skill and dominance, Dallas College Richland's men's soccer team secured their sixth consecutive National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III national championship on Sunday. The Thunderducks triumphed over Mohawk Valley Community College with a decisive 4-0 victory.
This remarkable achievement marks the Thunderducks' 12th national title in program history, establishing them as the most decorated team in NJCAA Division III history. Furthermore, it stands as the highest number of national titles in any NJCAA division, surpassing the previous record held by Herkimer College with 10 titles.
The Thunderducks took control early in the game when Luis Vargus found the net in the 18th minute, assisted by Joseph Min. The team continued their offensive prowess with Felipe Escorcia scoring in the 27th minute. Valerio Del Mastro added a third goal in the 67th minute, assisted by Min, and Vargus sealed the victory with his second goal in the 81st minute.
Vargus, with a total of 18 goals in the season, emerged as the leading goal scorer for the Thunderducks. The team showcased their dominance in both halves, outshooting the Hawks 9-2 in the first half and maintaining a staggering 24-2 shot advantage throughout the game. Remarkably, Mohawk Valley was unable to attempt a shot in the second half.
The Thunderducks, concluding the season with a commendable 12-3-1 record, displayed an exceptional defensive record in the championship. Goalkeeper Arath Valdez made a mere one save in the title game, securing his fifth shutout of the season and contributing to a total of 10 shutouts for Richland. The Thunderducks' defensive prowess was evident as they blanked their last six opponents, ultimately achieving a remarkable clean sheet in the championship.
Mohawk Valley goalkeeper Jaime Mata made seven saves, but the Thunderducks dominated with an 11-1 shots on goal advantage. Richland's outstanding performance in Gastonia solidified their status as the pinnacle of NJCAA Division III men's soccer.