The Western Nebraska Community College men’s and women’s soccer teams dropped contests to Northeastern Junior College on Saturday at the Landers Soccer Complex in the team’s final regular season contest.
The Cougar women, who played one of their best contests on Friday in a tie with Western Wyoming Community College, outshot NJC 26-15 on Saturday but the Plainswomen prevailed in double overtime 2-1.
The Cougar men fell behind the eight-ball early and never got untracked, falling to the Plainsmen 2-0.
Both teams will begin Region IX play next week. Brackets and times will be released next week.
The women’s contest was a battle between two teams that were short on bench players. WNCC was also a playing their third match in four days, while NJC had a week off between games.
Brittany Hunsley, who scored the only goal on the day for either Cougar team, said they played well but could have played better.
“I thought we could have done better. I think we were just tired from yesterday’s game that went into overtime and today. Both games,” the freshman from Belle Fouche, South Dakota, said. “We were really, really tired and it showed in overtime because we all were so dead.”
Still, considering how beat up the women’s team is, suiting up just 13 players on Friday and Saturday and going into overtime both games, Hunsley thought they kept fighting.
“We just have to keep fighting, which I think we did that. It just didn’t go our way.”
The women’s team did show how talented they can be, however, as the defense played well despite allowing those two goals late, and the offense really stepped up as well.
“I think both the defense and offense did really well,” Hunsley said. “We actually had a lot of opportunities in front of the goal; we just couldn’t finish.”
Both teams played a strong defensive contest in the first half, where neither team scored. The second half was much different offensively.
WNCC finally broke the scoreless game as Hunsley took a pass from Marissa Dahlveng and fired the ball into the back of the net with 27:24 left in the match.
The Cougar defenders Katelyn Pyle, Aspen Tremayne, Morgan Smith, Jesse Michel, and goalkeeper Allison Parker played strong in keeping the shutout. NJC kept battling, too, and with 7:13 to play, Ava Ortega took a cross and finished a ball from 25 feet out that went into the top corner for the equalizer.
Eden Washington came back with a shot that almost went in with three minutes to play. Both teams would end regulation tied at 1-1.
The first overtime period saw two shots by WNCC’s Janalynn McKay that was saved by NJC keeper Katie Saunders.
The second overtime saw NJC counter quickly as Simone Marcos cut toward to the goal, took a shot, and scored with just over a minute gone in the extra period for the winner.
WNCC outshot NJC 26-15 and had four corner kicks to the Plainswomen’s two.
Allison Parker had seven saves in net for the Cougars.
WNCC men fall 2-0 to NJC
The Western Nebraska Community College men’s soccer team allowed an early goal and then just couldn’t find the right connections to pick up a win in their final regular season contest, falling to Northeastern Junior College 2-0 Saturday.
The Plainsmen did waste any time in getting on the scoreboard as Paul Liagre, a freshman from France, scored just seven minutes in for the quick 1-0 lead.
After that, both team’s defenses stepped up limiting each other shots. WNCC finished the match with 15 shots, 11 of which were on goal, while NJC had eight shots, two on goal.
WNCC had plenty of chances to tie the contest in the first half, but couldn’t get the ball into the net with NJC leading 1-0 at halftime.
The second half was about the same situation as WNCC had plenty of opportunities to score but the Plainsmen defense held strong behind the four-save effort from NJC goalkeeper Akim Larmond. NJC added an insurance goal late with seven minute left as James Berndt scored.
Bryant Velasquez had four saves in net for the Cougars
WNCC will now enter the regional tournament next weekend. Brackets and times will be released next week.