The Trappers (8-7-1) were on a four-game win streak before losing to the 10-1-1 Laramie County Golden Eagles in Saturday’s season finale.
Northwest finished third in Region IX, but was bumped down to four by North Idaho, who won an automatic tournament bid. The Trappers will now have to beat Trinidad (9-5-1, 6-5-1) at home Saturday in a playoff game to qualify for the following weekend’s regional tournament.
If the Trappers win they will face Laramie County in the first round of the tournament.
Head coach Rob Hill said he was proud of the way the team finished the season 4-1 after enduring midseason struggles both on and off the field.
“We really kind of brought things together and became a different team,” Hill said. “The effort of the girls to finish out the rest of the season was superb.”
The Trappers’ beat Western Wyoming 2-0 Friday afternoon to clinch a winning record on the season.
Goals by freshmen Amberly Halstead and Shelby Pugh and a shutout by sophomore keeper Katie Duffy lifted the Trappers over the Mustangs.
Halstead scored her second goal of the season in the first half, while Pugh netted her first, with an assist from freshman Bibi Mondragon, in the 49th minute.
The Trappers would get no offense Saturday against No. 11 Laramie County, which shut out Northwest 2-0.
Duffy stopped six of eight shots but got no help from her offense, which directed just four shots on goal.
Despite another tally in the loss column, Hill was happy with his team’s play.
“We beat Western Wyoming the day before and I don’t feel we played as well (against the Mustangs),” Hill said. “I thought we had a couple of good chances.”
Freshman midfielder Guadalupe Leyva received a red card in the 78th minute and will not be available to play against Trinidad Saturday.
Hill said it was an “unfortunate situation” but the Trappers “have more than capable players who can come in and do a good job.”
Saturday’s playoff game will be played at 2 p.m. on the Trapper field. Assistant coach Brad Hammond will coach the women while Hill is in LaJunta, Colo., coaching the men’s team in the regional tournament.
Northwest defeated Trinidad in both of their tilts this season (1-0 in Trinidad, Colo., and then 6-1 at home), but Hill said the Trappers can’t rest on their laurels.
“As we’re coming to the playoff game it’s important the girls don’t get complacent,” Hill said. “Everything that’s gone on in the past is null and void.”