Behind the Counter: Darcy Judge finds family in the men's soccer team

By Dora Totoian | February 1, 2017 5:56pm

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by Jeffrey Braccia / The Beacon

When students walk into the Pilot House during the lunch rush, Darcy Judge is busy giving them their food and welcoming everyone with a smile on her face despite the craziness.

Judge, who has been working at the University of Portland for eight years, says the people she works with are like her family and always work together to manage the Pilot House’s busier hours.

Aside from her work family, Judge has a special sweet spot for the players on UP’s men’s soccer team, who she says are a part of her heart.

“The soccer team is a really special group of young men,” Judge said.

Six or seven years ago, a few athletes from the men’s soccer team wanted a “team mom,” and they asked Judge to take on that role — which includes baking for them. Once a month, Judge bakes them hundreds of cookies, brownies and caramel bars. Soccer player Conor Johnston said that their coaches would probably prefer they didn’t eat so many of Judge’s sweets, but she continues to make them and they continue to devour them nonetheless.

Though Judge has three kids and likes to spend her free time with her family, she is still a notable presence at Pilot soccer games.

“She’s always been our number one fan. She’s been there at every home game,” said soccer player Matt Coffey.

Reflecting on her years at UP, one of Judge’s best memories is a men’s soccer team accomplishment.

“The happiest moment was when the boy’s soccer team won the league (in November 2016),” Judge said.

But Judge offers much more than baked goods and enthusiasm at games. She has been an integral part of the team’s support system.

“College in itself can be so stressful. You can become a little lost, and you just know for a fact that Darcy is there to listen. When it’s one of those days that you need a smile or a hug, Darcy is always there,” said Johnston.

When asked how much longer she plans to be at UP doling out smiles, hugs and enthusiasm, Judge’s answer was simple.

“As long as I can,” she said. 

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