Decimated by injuries and loopy from the effects of a 30-hour round-trip bus ride, the Northwest College women’s soccer team still returned from a two-game road trip to Nebraska with its first …
Decimated by injuries and loopy from the effects of a 30-hour round-trip bus ride, the Northwest College women’s soccer team still returned from a two-game road trip to Nebraska with its first Region IX win of the season.
The Lady Trappers opened the trip Friday against Region IX foe Central Community College-Columbus, grinding to a 2-1 win. Attrition caught up to NWC on Saturday, however, as they were blanked 7-0 by Northeast Community College.
The Lady Trappers had only nine players at some points and “our girls did a really good job hanging in there and beating a region opponent in Central,” said NWC head coach Aaron Miller. “We just didn’t have enough to bounce back the next day against Northeast.”
NWC 2, Central CC 1
Despite a long trip to Columbus, Nebraska, Miller said the team came ready to play.
“It’s crazy, 30 hours on a bus,” he said. “That was pretty taxing on them, but they were able to shake it off and go out and do what they needed to do. I put a lot of emphasis on that Central game because it was a region opponent — I really pushed the girls to do well in that match.”
Sapirah Broussard scored both goals for NWC, assisted both times by Ana Beatriz Santos, who was playing through an injury.
“Every time she [Broussard] got the ball, she was taking it on herself to get us out of that game,” Miller said. “She was doing a lot of the work individually, taking on two or three defenders at a time, and scored two pretty good goals. Ana Santos was injured, but was able to feed through a couple of assists.”
Miller praised the rest of the team for their gritty play, including Kailee Ingalls at center back.
“Kailee was really being communicative and talking to everybody,” he said. “She kept everybody organized.”
Keeper Alexa Williams was credited with 18 saves in the contest, losing one shot in the sun.
“She’s looking at me over at the sideline like, ‘Oops,’” Miller called of Williams’ reaction to the goal. “But she came out and made some great plays.”
For instance, after making a save, Williams brought the ball upfield about 40 yards. She was tackled by a Central player but got right back up, tackled the Central player back and cleared the play.
“It was right in the middle of the field, Ben [McArthur, head men’s coach] was on the other side of the field and he was going crazy,” Miller said, laughing. “He was saying some of the parents in the stands were like, ‘I’ve watched soccer for years, and never seen anything like that.’ It was pretty awesome.”
Northeast 7, NWC 0
Saturday’s game was a different story, with Northeast Community College handing the Lady Trappers a 7-0 loss.
“They [Northeast] had good speed, good athletic ability,” Miller said. “They moved the ball around pretty well. But we needed that challenge, we hadn’t seen too many teams of that caliber. We were only down 2-0 at halftime, the girls were playing tough. We just didn’t have the gas or the legs.”
Miller said the biggest drawback of playing shorthanded is the inability to extend the field — players are taking a risk by chasing the ball.
“You have to just stay compact in our defensive third, which is not typically my style,” he said. “But with nine players, it’s what we had to do.”
Next up for the Lady Trappers is a pair of Region IX home games: LCCC on Friday and Western Wyoming Saturday. Miller said he should have a couple of players back.
“We’ve been doing a lot of rehabbing and recovery, spending time at the Powell Aquatic Center in the pool to help some of these little injuries,” he said. “And being at home will be a welcome reprieve.”