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Trapper men, women drop opening games

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — The Northwest College men’s and women’s soccer teams came up empty-handed in their season-opening contests Saturday at the University of Great Falls in Montana.

The five-hour trip to Great Falls may have taken its toll, as coach Rob Hill’s squads dropped 3-2 (men’s) and 2-0 (women’s) decisions to the Argos.

The Trapper men were forced to battle back from deficits twice in Northwest’s first bout of the day. Great Falls grabbed an early 1-0 lead, but sophomores Marco Guttierez and Omar Garcia knotted things when Guttierez found Garcia near the net for a score.

In the second half, Hill opted to send out a fresh lineup to start, which yielded mixed results.

The Argos went ahead 2-1 in the half before freshman Sam Smith found fellow-first year player Matthew Jones for another tying tally.

“We really showed a lot of intensity and fight out there,” Hill said of his men’s team. “It was definitely a good game. But there’s work to do.”

Great Falls found the Trapper net for the decisive goal in the game’s final minutes, beating keeper Alex Basulto for the win. Eric Wehse and Basulto split time in net between the first and second halves.

The Northwest women suffered a similar fate in their match, surrendering two Argos goal in the final eight minutes of play to seal the win.

Both Hill’s men’s and women’s teams will be young this fall, as the men carry six sophomores on a 25-man roster, while the women will field 13 freshman and five sophomores.

“We’re young. It’s going to be a brand new game with two brand new teams pretty much,” Hill added. “This trip was really good for us though. My players got an idea of what the college game is going to be like.

‘The speed, the physicality of the game ... this was a good lesson for them. We’ll get better because of these losses.’

Northwest travel to Billings, Mont., on Saturday for 1 p.m. (women’s) and 3 p.m. (men’s) matches with Rocky Mountain College.

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