Playing in its second game in as many days, the Trapper women completely dominated the final 20 minutes Friday to score a 3-1 victory. The win came on the heels of a 0-0 draw at Montana State University-Billings the previous day.
The Trappers struck first in the 25th minute as Mariam Gelderloos tapped the ball home after Great Falls’ keeper failed to make a clean catch of the ball following an NWC free kick. The fumble fell pretty much to the Livingston, Mont., freshman’s foot to provide NWC with its first score.
The Trappers almost struck again less than a minute later. Another mishandled free kick forced Great Falls to scramble to clear the ball off its own goal line. The Argos’ keeper was able to recover in time to lunge to the ground and brush the ball off the line to preserve a goal.
Great Falls tallied its goal in the 28th minute off a low curling shot that Trapper keeper Morgon Cox wasn’t able to corral. The 1-1 tie persisted through the remainder of the first half as neither team mustered a serious threat on goal.
The second half started equally slow as the teams held possession in the midfield. Great Falls broke the ice first with a quality shot from the top of the box that Cos was forced to steer wide with a dive to her right.
Beginning in the 70th minute though, the contest took a decided turn in favor of the Trappers. Northwest missed on a golden chance, sending the ball high at an open net from inside the six-yard box after yet another mishandle by Great Falls’ keeper.
Northwest forced the Argos’ netminder to smother a shot off a corner kick in the 73rd minute. In the 74th minute, NWC sent a shot from 19 yards screaming just over the top of the crossbar.
The shots just kept coming.
Trapper freshman Samiha Simao forced a fingertip save in the 75th minute. Freshman Christine Silverstone, another product of Montana’s Park High School in Livingston, sent the Great Falls keeper sprawling to the turf at Northwest College’s new soccer field to make yet another save in the 76th minute.
Even when it appeared the sudden Trapper barrage was over, Great Falls found out that it wasn’t safe to relax. After safely corralling an Argo corner kick in the 81st minute, Cox delivered a kick to near the midfield stripe. Nobody was able to touch the ball out of the air, producing a big bounce. Simao outran a trio of Great Falls defenders to the bounding ball before easily winning her one-on-one against the goalkeeper to score the go-ahead goal.
It was Simao’s second goal of the pre-season.
The Trappers extended their lead in the 86th minute. Powell sophomore Katie Kipp, one of the few roster hold-overs from last fall, got on the receiving end of a corner kick and tagged it into net for the game’s final goal.
“This was a great result against a good NAIA team,” said Trapper coach Rob Hill. “This is a team that beat us 4-0 when we scrimmaged last season.”
Hill wasted little time thinking when asked what made the late-game difference for the Trappers.
“We substituted Samiha in the 55th minute and it completely changed the game,” said Hill. “She drew a lot of attention and that opened things up. Plus she can just hustle, which you saw on the play where she scored.”
And, the Trappers’ coach said, she’s currently only playing at about 75 percent.
“She’s still recovering from an ankle sprain, which is why she didn’t see that much time today,” Hill said. “We’re anxious to see what she can do when she’s able to go full speed.”
Hill was also excited about the Trappers’ draw on Thursday against MSU-B.
“That’s a team that would have beat us bad last year,” Hill said. “That team would have beat us 11, 12 to nothing. That’s the difference. We’ve got 20 new players on the roster this season and it’s going to be a whole different year.”
After going 1-1-1 in three exhibition contests, the Trappers get their season started in earnest this weekend in Great Bend, Kan. Northwest will play three games as part of a tournament. As of Friday, the squad was still waiting to hear the identities of those opponents.
“We’re not sure yet who we’re playing or when,” said Olivas. “We’re just looking to get rested up and ready to play.”
The Trapper men play an exhibition match Wednesday at Montana State University-Billings. The NWC men’s team will begin its season Saturday at Salt Lake Community College.