Both losses came by a single goal against North Idaho, which has made itself something of a rival in the early going.
Northwest dropped a 3-2 match to North Idaho Aug. 25.
Head coach Rob Hill said the Trappers were too comfortable after going into halftime up 1-0 and “we paid the price for that.” That loss was “our own fault,” Hill said.
North Idaho bested the Trappers again eight days later in Couer d’Alene, where Northwest gave up another 1-0 halftime lead and lost 2-1.
Hill said he felt like the Trappers fell out of favor with the referees in the second game against North Idaho.
In Hill’s opinion, a Trapper goal was mistakenly disallowed and a free kick that turned into a North Idaho score should have never been granted.
“I don’t think we got beat by North Idaho,” Hill said. “I think the referee had a very big influence on the game.”
The Trappers played down a man for more than three-quarters of the game, but Hill said his team still did everything it could to overcome the disadvantage. In the end, Northwest couldn’t hold on to a 1-0 halftime lead.
“We battled all the way to the end,” Hill said, adding that he wants a chance for the Trappers to avenge their losses.
“Honestly, I hope we see them at regionals,” he said. “I’d like to see them again with a full squad and a neutral referee.”
Questionable officiating didn’t impact the Trappers as much as playing without their usual starting centerbacks and strikers.
Some of those troubles will be relieved when freshman forward Cedric Omeragie rejoins the squad for Wednesday’s home match against Sheridan.
“It will be nice to have Wyatt (Fabrizio) and Cedric up front and see what problems we can cause,” Hill said. “Wednesday should be a nice fresh outlook for our team.”
Four Trappers have scored a total of five goals in the first four games of the season.
Sophomore Gage Woodward has scored two goals and sophomore Fabrizio, freshman Omar Garcia and sophomore Zach Lempka have each scored one.
Northwest entered the year as the 20th-ranked team in the nation, a distinction that has brought both pride and pressure.
“I think the guys realize when you’re in that top 20 the pressure comes,” Hill said. “Everyone wants to beat the guy that went to the national tournament. Everyone wants to beat the best.
“Now the guys have to handle the mental pressure and learn to cope with that.”
The Trappers are in the midst of a nine-day break that Hill said will help get them back to full strength.
“We’ve been without five (starters),” Hill said. “This little break for us is kind of nice because it allows them to get their fitness back up.”