“This is the sort of game that can cost you in the end if you’re trying to wrap up that number one seed in the region,” said NWC head coach Rob Hill. “I thought we had quite a few chances that we couldn’t put away and then they capitalized on one late.”
Western Wyoming received a gift in the first half. The Mustangs stepped in front of a bad pass by the Trappers defense and beat the keeper for the game’s first goal.
Northwest College answered as Australian freshman Matt Hawkins crossed the ball in to sophomore Leonardo Mederios. The Brazilian tagged the ball into net for his third goal of the young season.
“We had quite a few other chances after that,” Hill said of the first half, which ended in a 1-1 tie. “I really felt we were going to push on and win the game, and possession-wise in the second half you probably would have thought the same.”
In the 80th minute, however, the Mustangs set up for a corner kick and one of Western Wyoming’s forwards beat the Trappers’ goalkeeper to the ball, heading it into net for the game-winning score.
“We just need to clean up some of the areas, and defending set pieces is definitely one of them,” said Hill. “Our two tallest players, one is a keeper and the other is a forward, so we just can’t simulate some of the height we’re seeing from other teams in practice.”
Hill noted he might have to borrow some basketball players from Northwest College men’s basketball coach Andy Ward to help prepare his team for what they might see in the air.
The Trappers hosted defending Region IX champion Otero over the weekend. Results from that game will appear in Thursday’s edition. Northwest travels to Western Nebraska on Wednesday for another Region IX contest.