The Western Nebraska Community College men’s soccer team had to dig deep, getting two goals from Lawan Abary to register a 3-2 Region IX South Conference win over Northeastern Junior College Wednesday at the Landers Soccer Complex.
The win, however, wasn’t the prettiest win as the Cougars had to fight back from a 2-1 halftime deficit.
“I will take the win, but I am more concerned with some lingering issues we have on the field of play and it is a big question mark right now,” WNCC coach Todd Rasnic said. “I think we are a very good team but right now we are not playing like a very good team. In my mind we are team that can be competing with the top 20 and 25 teams in the nation right now and we are not. We are falling flat on our face before we decide to get up and play.”
Rasnic will definitely take the win as they move to 5-2 overall and in a three-way tie for first place in the South Division with Trinidad State and Otero at 2-1.
“I am happy with the win, but I think we have a lot of work to do to be a team that will compete for a Region IX title,” Rasnic said.
WNCC had to find a gut-check time after the first half play. NJC wasted little time netting the first goal as Paul Liagre scored just 90 seconds into the match.
The Cougars came back to tie the contest with 30 minutes to play in the opening half as Lawan Abary took a pass from Ramses Atahualpa. The tie didn’t last long as NJJC came back four minutes later and went back up 2-1 on a goal by De Sorde Lopes. Neither team scored the rest of the way with NJC leading 2-1 at intermission.
The second half was a little better played with the Cougars shutting out the Plainsmen from scoring. Offensively, WNCC found enough offense to get the win. With 34 minutes to play, Andre Matzuda took a pass from Silvio Xavier for the tying goal.
Abary followed with the go-ahead goal with 25 minutes to play after taking a pass from Ade Oshikoya.
After that, the Cougar defense kept playing hard in getting the conference win.
NJC had seven shots on goal compared to six for the Cougars. Viktar Kravets had four saves in net for the Cougars.
WNCC will be back in action Friday when they travel to Western Wyoming Community College for a contest in Rock Springs, Wyoming.