Freshman striker Barbara Fidelis arrived from Brazil after her visa issues were sorted out and scored a goal in her second game as a Trapper, though it came in a losing effort.
Northwest beat Sheridan 1-0 at home Sept. 11 and lost to Western Nebraska 3-2 in a double-overtime match in Scottsbluff, Neb. Sept. 13.
The Trappers faced off with the Sheridan Generals after a layoff, which head coach Rob Hill said was apparent.
“We didn’t play very well against Sheridan,” Hill said. “You could tell we had 10 days off.”
But Northwest (2-3-1) needed only sophomore forward Rickie Ryan’s goal in the 34th minute to best the Generals.
Fidelis played sparingly in her first game as a Trapper, but showed flashes of her skill, including an aerial shot that she put on-target with her back to the goal from just outside the box.
Hill said it will take Fidelis a few more matches to adapt to how soccer is played in Region IX, and to catch up to the fitness levels of her teammates.
“She didn’t have the preseason the other players had so she’s not quite match-fit,” Hill said. “She got to get used to the physicality of the game.
“The next couple weekends will be her real introduction. She’s going to sink or swim.”
Sophomore Katie Duffy stopped all five shots she faced in the first half and sophomore Rachel Rettinger made one save in the second half.
The Trappers peppered the Sheridan goal with 24 shots, but were only able to get one through.
Freshman midfielder Aline De Lima got the assist on Ryan’s score.
Hill said the Trapper women played better in Western Nebraska against the Cougars, but a few unlucky bounces kept them from securing the win.
All of the game’s scoring took place in the second half and overtime.
The Cougars got on the board first when Duffy missed a pass that was intended for her in goal and arrived at the feet of a Western Nebraska player who easily directed the ball into the net in the 65th minute.
Duffy saved eight of 11 shots in the loss.
Northwest tied it up eight minutes later when Fidelis put away a cross from freshman midfielder Bridget Schumaker for her first goal as a Trapper.
But the Trappers found themselves trailing after another bounce that went the Cougars’ way ended up in the back of Northwest’s net.
Western Nebraska took a free kick that hit the crossbar and bounced right to a Cougar player who buried it for the 2-1 lead.
If the ball had deflected “anywhere else, it’s not a goal,” Hill said.
The game would have ended at that 2-1 score if De Lima didn’t take it upon herself to score an unassisted goal in the game’s 90th minute to send the match into overtime.
The first overtime was dominated by the Trappers, who kept the ball deep in Cougar territory, but couldn’t get the finishing shot.
“We had multiple opportunities to score and we just weren’t clinical,” Hill said. “We were shooting to shoot and not shooting to score.”
The game ended when a Cougar pass bounced off the leg of a Northwest defender and again found its way to a Western Nebraska shooter.
The Cougars’ Jordyn Seidel hit the game-winner in the 105th minute.
“It’s just the way sports go,” Hill said. “(Our) overall performance was good and it should help us at this weekend’s games.”
The Trappers travel to Colorado this weekend for games against Otero (Friday at 4:30 p.m.) and Trinidad State (Saturday at noon).
“(Otero is) a tough team to beat, especially on the road.” Hill said.