NWC men’s soccer wins two on road

Trappers now 5-1-1

Posted 9/19/19

The Northwest College men’s soccer team continues to roll, winning a pair of games over the weekend on the road in Nebraska.

The Trappers opened Region IX play Friday against Central …

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NWC men’s soccer wins two on road

Trappers now 5-1-1


The Northwest College men’s soccer team continues to roll, winning a pair of games over the weekend on the road in Nebraska.

The Trappers opened Region IX play Friday against Central Community College-Columbus, shaking off a 15-hour bus ride to outlast the Raiders in overtime 2-1. NWC followed that with a 1-0 win against Northeast Community College Saturday to push their overall record to 5-1-1.

“It was a good weekend for us. We got a couple of wins and avoided injury,” said NWC head coach Ben McArthur. “And we opened Region IX play with a win, so we were happy with that.”


Trappers 2, Central CC-C 1 (OT)

Following a long bus ride to Columbus, Nebraska, to face Central CC, “we came out and it was tough,” said McArthur. “They’re a good team, they have some good players.”

The contest between NWC and the Raiders (6-2-1, 1-1-1 in Region IX play) was back-and-forth from the start, with both teams creating scoring opportunities. Arthur Lopes played keeper for the first half, making “a couple of big saves,” McArthur said.

Fellow keeper Ryan Bevins, recently cleared to play following an injury, minded the net in the second half.

The game was scoreless until the 30th minute, when NWC’s Ryoto Nakamura scored an unassisted goal from about 30 yards out.

“Ryoto won the ball right around midfield, dribbled about 25 yards and just crushed it,” McArthur said. “It was just a fantastic goal, one of those goals that you’re like, ‘Sweet, let’s get these guys’ confidence up.’ He did it by himself, just one of those things where the player takes over and makes something happen.”

With the Trappers holding on to a 1-0 lead well into the second half, Central brought the game back to even on a goal by Jeremiah Vidale. The score was still 1-1 at the end of regulation, sending the game into overtime.

“... I just urged my guys to try and end it quick,” McArthur said. “We’d had some chances, we hit the post, we hit the crossbar, so it’s not like we couldn’t score. I just urged my guys to speed the play up and raise their level of play.”

The Trappers listened. Less than a minute into the OT period, Trapper forward Tumekie Blackwood got in behind the Raiders’ defense and was brought down from behind, awarding him a penalty kick. Tumekie converted the penalty kick for the win.

“Overtime, win on a PK, it’s not how we drew it up, but we’ll take it after a long bus ride,” McArthur said. “We were pretty pleased to get that first win in the region.”

McArthur said Central played a physical game, but the Trappers were able to match their physicality without losing their heads.

“We never lost our cool, we never got out of hand,” he said. “That was nice to see as a coach, to be able to compete in a physical game and not mentally break down.”

The first-year coach credited his center backs — Chanwhi Jung and Brandon Pyron — with stepping up their play.

“We have five center backs right now, but those two are really playing fantastic soccer,” McArthur said of Jung and Pyron.


Trappers 1, Northeast CC 0

Saturday’s game against Northeast (2-5) was a non-region contest, enabling McArthur to start a half-dozen players who hadn’t played on Friday.

“Northeast had played the day before as well, so we played fresh legs and those guys came out fired up, ready to play,” McArthur said. “And I sprinkled in some of my starters throughout the game.”

It was a defensive battle, with the game scoreless at the half. McArthur played two new center backs — Chase Hains and Ryan Silva de Almeida — and was pleased with the results.

“Those guys did a great job holding it down in the back, keeping us organized,” McArthur said, adding, “It’s cool when you get to take a trip like that and everybody plays a role. Keeps us motivated, keeps us working hard.”

NWC finally broke the stalemate in the game’s 51st minute, when forward Gage Magone found an open Haruki Yamazaki for the game winner.

“It was nice to get the win, and it was nice to be able to play a lot of guys,” McArthur said, noting that all 22 players on the trip started at least one game.

“All’s well, coming back from Nebraska 2-0,” he said.

Bevins and Lopes again split time in net, with Bevins getting the start against Northeast.

“They’re doing great,” the coach said. “Arthur and Ryan are friends, they compete with each other, they push each other every day in practice. When you have two goalkeepers you trust, it’s a good problem to have.”

The NWC men are back at Trapper Field Friday with a game against Laramie County CC; they’ll follow that with a game Saturday against Western Wyoming (1-6, 0-2 in Region IX play). LCCC is sporting a 4-3 record (2-0 in Region IX play) and is always a threat to win the region.

“LCCC was predicted to finish No. 1 in the region this year by the coaches, and we were predicted to finish seventh,” McArthur said. “So there’s a little bit of motivation there for us. It’s a region game, and we want to win the region. To win the region you have to beat everybody. It should be a fun weekend.”