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NWC men’s soccer sent home early

The Northwest Trappers men’s soccer team was ousted in the first round of the Region IX Tournament Oct. 25 in LaJunta, Colo.

Northwest fell at the hands of the North Idaho Cardinals 2-1 in overtime.

Head coach Rob Hill said it was a difficult loss to accept. This marks the first time in the program’s history that the team will not compete in a regional tournament championship game. Last season’s squad won both the regional and district championships on its way to the national tournament.

“This year it definitely hurts not to be in that championship game,” Hill said. “I still feel like we have a team that could go to the national tournament.”

The Trappers finish the year 8-8-3 (5-2-3 in conference play).

The coach said that while he’s disappointed the season is over, he’s proud of his team’s play.

“The guys played a really excellent game,” he said. “Sometimes the better team doesn’t win.”

Sophomore Will Moats scored Northwest’s lone goal in the 46th minute, just seconds after the second-half kickoff.

Moats found himself with the ball about 25 yards from the goal and made the most of his look.

“It was just a straight knucklenall into the top left,” Hill said. “It was a real top-class finish.”

The goal evened the score at 1-1 and Hill said it “really set the tone for the second half.”

Northwest kept the pressure on the Cardinal net.

“We were just peppering their goal,” Hill said.

But unfortunately for Northwest, only Moats’ shot made it through.

“We had 22 shots and we just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net,” Hill said.

The Trappers had seven shots on goal, as well as seven corner kicks.

North Idaho scored in the 29th minute on a free kick.

The winning goal came when North Idaho crossed a ball that was knocked down in the box. It was recovered by Adam Talley who then closed out the Trappers’ season.

Hill said the Cardinals took advantage of the absence of Trapper defender Matt Frost, who was taken out after drawing a yellow card.

Hill said he will head into the offseason looking to rectify the lack of depth that hurt the Trappers this season, especially when injuries arose.

“It’s gong to be a complete overhaul on the men’s side,” Hill said. “We need a new forward line, a whole new back line, we need wingers, we need everything.”

The first day recruits can sign with colleges is Dec. 1.

Otero College (Otero, Colo.,) won the regional tournament and advanced to the West District Championship.

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