“The wind was really strong, about 25 miles an hour and gusting,” said Trapper soccer coach Rob Hill. “We got the choice and decided to go against the wind in the first half. I figured, given the nature of the game, that it would take both …
Pima ends NWC season with 3-0 final score
Men’s soccer season came to a close for Northwest College on Friday with a 3-0 loss to Pima in the opening round of the West District tournament. Making its first-ever appearance on the district level, the Trappers were unable to overcome the 1-2 punch of weather and opponent.
“The wind was really strong, about 25 miles an hour and gusting,” said Trapper soccer coach Rob Hill. “We got the choice and decided to go against the wind in the first half. I figured, given the nature of the game, that it would take both sides a while to settle in and figured if we could hold them early then we’d have the advantage after the half.”
That strategy began to unravel almost immediately. Three minutes into the contest, Pima played a free kick into the goal. Northwest College’s keeper called for the ball, but due to the wind was unable to make a play on it. The kick ricocheted off the top crossbar and onto the foot of a Pima player, who tapped it home for a quick 1-0 lead.
Pima added to the margin midway through the half, heading home a corner kick.
“They were really strong on their set pieces and had a couple tall kids that were 6-5 or 6-6 that they brought up,” Hill said. “It was a clear strategy that they were going to try and score in those situations.”
Pima added a third goal, again off a set piece, with less than three minutes to play in the first half. Operating with the wind at their backs, the Trappers were unable to get on the board against a Pima team that had the luxury of being able to play defensive over the final 45 minutes.
Afterward, the Trappers head coach gave credit to Pima.
“On the day, they were the better team, no doubt about it,” Hill said. “I don’t think we gave it our best. They were more aggressive and powerful. It wasn’t the prettiest of soccer games due to the conditions, but they played to their strengths and absolutely owned us in the midfield.”
Northwest’s appearance at the district tournament provided both Hill and his players with a lesson for the future.
“Now we’ve seen what it takes to get to the national tournament,” said Hill. “We’ve got some areas to focus on in recruiting, because we want to make this routine. We want to get to the national tournament every year. That’s the ultimate goal.”
Northwest wraps up its season 15-5-1. The Trappers were ranked 18th in the final regular season NJCAA poll. Pima went on to defeate North Idaho by a 5-2 count and will represent the West District in the NJCAA national tournament.