Since launching the women’s soccer program in 2001, success has come sparingly at Frederick Community College. The Lady Cougars have never had a winning season and only qualified for the playoffs once – in 2013.
Though FCC has only won 13 games from 2014-2016, the program has weathered through adversity to assemble the largest team in school history this year with 19 players. In the past, the average roster size for women’s soccer would typically range from 11-14 players.
“I’ve seen tremendous growth,” said athletic director Rodney Bennett. “The interest, number one, and then seeing the growth of getting soccer players, so to speak. It’s been phenomenal.”
Despite falling short, yet again, in 2016 – finishing with a 5-10 record – FCC women’s soccer had their most competitive season in recent years. Their playoff fate came down to the regular season finale; a win and you’re in type of scenario.
Unfortunately, it didn’t end that way – losing to College of Southern Maryland, 5-1, and falling short of the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference playoffs by a mere three points.
Even though the FCC women’s soccer season ended prematurely, leverage is being generated for the future.
Out of the 19 players on FCC’s roster, 13 are from Frederick or County. One of the in-county recruits includes 2016-2017 FCC women’s soccer Most Valuable Player, Victoria Doing (Middletown High). Since Doing adds local value, she’s taken the role as a spokesperson to high school recruits in FCC’s recruiting quest.
“I think the player coming to recruit and talk to the girls definitely draws more people in,” Doing said, who finished the 2016 season with seven goals and five assists. “And talking about the fact that FCC does save you a lot of money and it’s easy to transfer to another school, I think that helps a lot.”
On October 27, Bob Bofinger (13-33 in three seasons) stepped down as the women’s head coach. In a press release, Bennett praised Bofinger for his dedication and said he “set the program up for the future.”
Doing, who is a sophomore, plans to come back to FCC at some point, not as a student, but as a coach. Her goal is to ultimately build on what Bofinger and company started. She believes if the FCC women’s soccer program continues to pursue intra-county recruits while heightening competitiveness year after year, the Cougars will consistently contend for conference and region titles.
“I think so,” Doing said. “If we keep the recruiting the way we are.”
Kyle McFadden is the editor-in-chief of The Commuter and has his own weekly column called K-Fadd’s Cauldron. He also co-owns, manages and reports for Maryland Sports Access, where he covers many beats, including Maryland high school sports, college basketball and college football. He’s also a freelance sports journalist for The Baltimore Sun and The Frederick News-Post, covering colleges and high schools.