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Long day at the office

Women’s soccer wins wild Region IX opener

Northwest College battled through multiple rain and lightning delays, a venue change and a determined Western Wyoming side to post a 2-1 double-overtime victory in the Region IX opener for both teams on Wednesday.

“It was pretty wild,” NWC women’s soccer coach Kaylin Olivas said of her team’s victory.

The Trappers’ contest in Rock Springs had been scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Multiple thunderstorms moving through southwestern Wyoming forced officials to delay the start of the contest for three hours. The weather conditions also forced the game to move from the college facility to the all-weather field at Rock Springs High School.

Eventually, the players were able to take the field with Western striking first off a corner kick in the 35th minute. The Mustangs’ lead was short-lived though. Three minutes later, Christine Silverstone fed a cross to midfielder Lauren Madden, who one-timed the ball into the back of the net for the equalizing goal.

The two schools would remain tied going into intermission. The second half saw both sides with scoring opportunities, but both keepers proved up to the challenge.

“We had some opportunities that we couldn’t finish on,” Olivas said. “We had a lot of shots, but couldn’t find the net. Their keeper made some great saves to keep them in the game.”

On the other side, Northwest’s defense proved up to the challenge of turning away all of Western Wyoming’s runs as well.

“It was a straight battle,” Olivas said. “Both teams were hitting each other and going hard into every battle. It was just pretty even overall. Neither team really stepped above the other.”

As a result, the two schools went to overtime. But not before Mother Nature had her say and brought still another lightning-induced delay to the proceedings.

“It was a mess,” Olivas said of the conditions. “We pretty much had a constant rumbling of thunder throughout the game as we played.”

The two teams battled scoreless through another 15 minutes in the first overtime. Three minutes into the second extra period, Trapper sophomore Sydney Heckel decided she’d had enough.

“She fought her way through three defenders with the ball and then beat the keeper,” Olivas said of the golden goal that ended the marathon contest. “She showed great determination.”

The victory kept the Trappers perfect for the season with a 3-0 overall mark now. Perhaps as important, it revealed a little more regarding the team’s character to its head coach.

“To have that kind of wait at the beginning and then bring the excitement and intensity onto the field was great to see,” said Olivas. “The girls responded well and came away with the victory.”

The Trappers return to the field on Wednesday, when the team looks to improve to 2-0 in Region IX play by traveling to face Western Nebraska in a 10 a.m. contest in Scottsbluff, Neb. In the meantime, the team was hoping to rest up and give some of its injured players a chance to recover.

“We’ll also look to get our midfield and offense going a little more,” said Olivas. “Up to now, our main focus has been on the defense. We’ll add a bit more offense in preparation for the Western Nebraska game.”

The Trappers will make their home debut on Friday at 2 p.m. against North Idaho. Northwest College will hold a dedication for Trapper Field at the conclusion of the women’s game. The Trapper men are also scheduled to play that day, beginning at 4 p.m.

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