The 2018 Class of the NJCAA Women's Soccer Coaches Association Hall of Fame was announced Thursday. Three former NJCAA players and a former coach are among the members inducted this year.
The first inductee is former Champlain coach Susan Rand. Rand spent 18 years at Champlain serving a variety of roles; including athletic director as well as coaching the program's field hockey, softball, alpine skiing, and men's tennis teams. Most notably, Rand built what was one of the true powerhouses in NJCAA women's soccer during the 1990's. Champlain appeared in four national championship games, winning two of them. In 1994, the Beavers won the national title by defeating Brevard 5-0 in the final, a margin of victory that to this day still stands the largest margin in NJCAA women's soccer championship match history.
Champlain would again win the title in 1998 by defeating St. Louis 4-0, which is tied for the second largest margin of defeat in an NJCAA women's soccer national championship game. The 1998 team finished the season with a perfect record of 22-0-0. During this run, Champlain would also finish as national runner-up twice in 1995 and 1997. Over this span, Rand would earn NSCAA National Coach of the Year in both 1991 and 1994.
Rand also served as the NJCAA Women's Soccer Coaches Association President for several years as well as the Region III Assistant Director and Committee Chair for Division I men's soccer.
In June 2000, Champlain ended their athletics program, leaving Rand with a career mark of 193-40-10.
Under the guidance of NJCAA women's soccer all-time wins leader Tim Rooney, Lewis & Clark have had a countless number of successful players come through the program.
One such player is Staci Dowdy who played in Godfrey, IL for two seasons in 1995 and 1996. The midfielder tallied 42 goals and 32 assists in her two years as a member of the Trailblazers' women's soccer program. Dowdy finished with 76 points in just the 1996 seasons alone, netting the then-sophomore NSCAA Junior College Player of the Year. In 2000, she was also listed on the NJCAA All-Century team, composing the best of the best of women's soccer players to come through the NJCAA from the sport's inception at the two-year level to 1999.
"Staci was a great teammate who worked hard in all facets of the game," said Tim Rooney. "She was our best all-around player that was very versatile and could play anywhere on the field. She could score goals with such a terrific shot or set up goals with great awareness of the game, whatever our team needed. Staci was also a great leader and was such a delight to coach. I am very proud of her and she is very deserving of this award."
Prior to the consolidation of several separate St. Louis Community College athletic departments into one, the SLCC-Florissant Valley women's soccer team was a true force in the late 1980's into the early 90's. The Fury captured NJCAA women's soccer national titles in 1988 and 1990 while finishing as the national runner-up in the year in between both campaigns. Two players from these teams are included in this year's class of women's soccer players going into the NJCAA Hall of Fame.
Kelly Drury was a member of the program in both 1988 and 1989. Drury was an All-American in both seasons and also finished on the NJCAA All-Tournament Team in both seasons. Drury was the goal-scoring statistical champion in both 1988 and 1989, scoring 24 times in her freshman season followed by an even more impressive 31 goals during her sophomore season.
"Kelly was a leader on and off the field," said former STLCC-FV head coach Karen Lombardo. "She excelled especially on the field with her speed and ability to score goals."
Drury scored all four goals in the 1988 national championship game, giving the program its first national title with a 4-0 result over Mercer County. Drury was also named the Offensive MVP in both the 1988 and 1989 NJCAA national tournaments.
Following her time with Florissant Valley, Drury went on to play at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. During her junior season, Drury scored 26 goals-- still a single-season program record for the Cougars.
Laura Goeke was teammates with Drury during the 1989 season in Florissant Valley. Goeke played as a midfielder for the Fury and was a true playmaker, finishing with double-digits in assists in both her seasons. Also privy to scoring goals, Goeke collected 34 career goals during her time in the NJCAA, earning her First Team All-American status in both 1989 and 1990.
"Laura was the team leader," said coach Karen Lombardo. " She had a great vision of the field and ball control in the game."
Further accolades for the midfielder included being named the 1990 NJCAA National Tournament MVP shortly after knocking off SUNY-Farmingdale in the national championship, 1-0. Goeke also was honored with being listed on the NJCAA Women's Soccer All-Century team in 2000.
The 2018 Hall of Fame Induction Class will be honored at the NJCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship which runs from November 12-17, 2018 in Foley, Alabama