“I actually felt like we played well,” said Lady Trappers head coach Jessica Lum. “We knew going into it that they [LCCC] were a good team; we had to give them that.”
After road losses to Gillette and Sheridan, Lum and her coaching staff decided a different approach was needed going into the LCCC game.
“We knew we would have to play a defensive game,” Lum explained. “Although the score didn’t really show that we did that, I actually think we did. We tried a different formation leading up to the game, something we hadn’t tried up to this point in the season.”
Implementing a new formation, coupled with a couple of game stoppages due to lightning, made for frustrating conditions for NWC — though the Lady Trappers did their best with a less than ideal situation.
“Leading up to the game, we talked about the principles and the ideas of what we needed to accomplish as a team,” Lum said. “I feel like we did really well. LCCC scored two goals right off the bat while we were still trying to get organized, but after that we were able to organize ourselves. ... I think that half we did what we set out to do.”
The Lady Trappers allowed only one more goal in the first half, trailing the Golden Eagles (6-1) at the break, 3-0.
More goals for LCCC followed in the second half — led by Nikita Woods and Abby Morillon with two goals apiece — but Lum said the team didn’t fall apart.
“We stayed in there and fought as a team, so I’m really happy with what we did,” Lum said. “We set out to learn a different type of defense and do things we haven’t done before, and I think they learned how to do that.”
As the Lady Trappers head into a three-game homestand, Lum said the team will continue to work on connecting the pieces, especially on offense. Finishing scoring opportunities has been difficult the first five games, and the team has been working on taking advantage of scoring chances. NWC has also been working on fitness, and Lum hopes that will start making a difference.
“I think really that’s what the focus will be: making the connection between defense to midfield, midfield to offense,” Lum said. “We want to still play tough defense, but also create attacking opportunities for our team.”
The communication between center back Nicola Waddell and goalkeeper Katie Behrens was solid, according to Lum, and Ashly Nieters and Hiroko Sogabe also played well in implementing a new formation. Behrens had 14 saves for the game.
“We also started Abbie Hogan — it was her first game as a starter — and she did a great job,” Lum said. “We had a lot of small team victories, even if the score didn’t reflect it.”
The Lady Trappers hosted Western Wyoming Wednesday afternoon, and will host Sheridan College Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 1 p.m.