Though their final record might not reflect it at first glance, it was a successful season for the Northwest College women’s soccer team, who closed out their 2019 campaign with a 4-3 overtime …
Though their final record might not reflect it at first glance, it was a successful season for the Northwest College women’s soccer team, who closed out their 2019 campaign with a 4-3 overtime win at Central Wyoming Saturday.
It was the fourth win of the season for the Lady Trappers (4-12, 1-8 in Region IX play) — a program that, prior to the start of the year, had gone winless since 2016.
“It was fun. Overtime games are always enjoyable,” said NWC head coach Aaron Miller. “The girls were battling — once again, they were playing with just 11. It was good to see a good match with good competition. It was a fun way to end the season.”
The game got off to an inauspicious start for Northwest, as the Lady Rustlers’ Carlee Flanagan scored in the game’s fourth minute to give Central an early 1-0 lead.
However, freshman Sapirah Broussard scored her team-leading 10th goal of the season at the 25-minute mark, assisted by Ana Beatriz Santos, to bring the game back to even.
“Ana [Beatriz Santos] and Sapirah [Broussard] were linking up all day,” Miller said. “Ana played a pretty big ball across the field that Sapirah scored on. We were staying up in our attacking third quite a bit, and just moving the ball. But it was fun to watch those two up front [Broussard and Santos] get going.”
It was back and forth for the remainder of the first half: Central re-took the lead in the 32nd minute off the foot of Brooklynn Arnold, then Santos netted one of her own just three minutes later (assisted by Broussard) to tie the game at 2.
“The scoring line really indicated the ebbs and flows of the game,” Miller said. “They [CWC] went up early, we tied it up; they took the lead again, we tied it up. It was fun. We were definitely in my opinion a better squad, but they were subbing like crazy and running fresh legs at us, trying to wear us down. But the girls did good.”
Central’s Caitland Erickson scored in the game’s 43rd minute, and the Lady Rustlers held a 3-2 lead at the half.
But the Lady Trappers tightened their defense in the second half, holding Central scoreless for the remainder of the game. Santos tallied her second goal of the contest at the 53-minute mark to tie the game at 3, assisted by sophomore captain Genevieve Sauers.
Still knotted at 3-3 at the end of regulation, the game went into overtime. Freshman forward Ali Krediet scored the gamewinner six minutes into OT, assisted by fellow freshman Ashlynn Cornelison.
“Ali [Krediet] was getting off shots the whole game, and she eventually got the gamewinner,” Miller said. “She went on a nice run and got fed the ball up and went one v. one with the defender. She timed it just right and placed it over the goalkeeper.”
“We talk to the girls about visualization, seeing yourself making it happen in a big moment,” the coach added. “So I asked Ali after the game, ‘Ali, did you know you were going to make that goal?’ She just laughed and said ‘Yup.’”
For sophomores — Sauers, Kailee Ingalls, Natalia Colicci, Jules Novakovich and Gabriele Carvalho — it was their final game as a Lady Trapper.
“They were all pretty happy. They remember what it was like to not win a game last season,” Miller said. “Genevieve [Sauers] was happy; Natalia [Colicci] was playing through an injury for us, she played a really gritty game. Kailee [Ingalls] has really evolved over the season at left back, she’s taken care of that left channel defensively. I told her after the game I think she’s a great player, and I think she’ll have success if she continues to push herself.”
Novakovich and Carvalho missed significant playing time due to injuries, but Miller said both were right there for every practice and every game, doing what they could to help the team.
“Both of them were banged up all year, just kept getting injured,” he said. “But they both played a large part in the success we had as a team.”
Like his counterpart over on the men’s side, Miller will now have to go through the interview process again to get the interim tag removed from his title. He’s already been recruiting out of state, and he’s hoping to be able to continue what he started.
“We’re gonna start that [hiring] process pretty soon, and I feel pretty good about it,” Miller said. “I like being at Northwest College, I like being a Trapper. I think if we get a little bit more time to work with the program, we can keep building that foundation, that culture that we want this program to be known for.”