“I think we just wanted to have a good last home game,” said Trapper coach Kaylin Olivas. “We wanted to go out and play well and let it carry over to the next month for the second half of our Region IX season. We wanted to play hard for the people that have come out to support us this season.”
It’s hard to imagine the Trappers could have produced a better performance in their regular-season home finale. Northwest outshot Western Wyoming 22-0 in the contest. For the second straight game, the Trappers’ possession-oriented style of play exhausted an opponent and dominated play, particularly in the second half.
“We’re doing a lot better as a team,” said Olivas. “We’re doing a good job of keeping possession. We’re stepping up as a unit if we get beat and we’re working hard to get the ball back. We can continue to get better, but we’ve seen a lot of improvement these last weeks.”
Rickie Ryan got the scoring started for Northwest with a short goal off a set piece. Ryan was patrolling the near post on a corner kick when Leeann Payne’s shot from the top of the box got caught up in traffic just feet from the mouth of the goal. Ryan was able to win the scrum for the ball and knock it into the net for Northwest’s first goal.
The Payne-Ryan connection struck again in the first half, this time with roles reversed as Ryan returned the favor by assisting on Payne’s goal, which gave Northwest a 2-0 halftime advantage.
Payne scored again in the second half, this time taking a ball played in from the right wing by Samhia Simao and depositing it past a sprawling Western Wyoming keeper for a score. Simao, who will set a single-season goals record for Northwest with her next goal this season, added another assist minutes later on a goal by Cassidy Aguilar to give the game its final margin.
“When we keep the ball and move the ball, we’re a different team,” said Olivas. “When we play our game, we’re a different team, and I think that’s one thing we’ve learned during the first half of Region IX play. We have to try and play our game and not others’.”
The Trappers travel to face Trinidad State and Otero this weekend. That road trip will be the start of seven consecutive away games by the Northwest College women.