Northwest College women’s soccer didn’t come out on the right side of the scoreboard in its first three matches, but head coach Rob Hill and his team have much to be proud …
Northwest College women’s soccer didn’t come out on the right side of the scoreboard in its first three matches, but head coach Rob Hill and his team have much to be proud of.
“Their attitudes and efforts and outlooks to the games have been brilliant,” Hill said.
The Trappers fell 6-0 to Casper on Wednesday, April 7, before dropping contests against Western Wyoming on Friday and Saturday (3-0 and 4-0).
Between several players leaving the program before the season, injuries and having to find replacements from other teams (livestock judging and basketball), the Trappers have been through a lot. Even so, the team is staying positive as it looks to become a competitive squad.
“The team spirit is brilliant; some of the best I’ve seen,” Hill said. “The challenge is the numbers and knots we are carrying. I don’t see a huge talent gap, it’s just a matter of teams are able to put in five subs and we’re not.”
Against Casper, Hill acknowledged that the Thunderbirds deserved to win but said the scoreline easily could’ve been narrower.
NWC got four shots on goal in that loss but couldn’t put any past Casper’s keeper. And defensively, lapses proved costly.
“I think a lot of the goals we conceded were preventable if we can fix the team errors,” Hill said. “These are opportunities for the girls to learn and improve.”
Already depleted, playing two matches against Western Wyoming wasn’t an easy task. Though the Trappers came in with “very little in the tank,” they fought hard, according to the coach.
Hill said he was particularly pleased with Kierra Cutright’s performance Saturday. Also a member of NWC’s women’s basketball team, Cutright joined the squad that day and played almost a full 90 minutes — just two days after finishing the basketball season.
“[Cutright] helped us a bunch,” Hill said. “She’s going to have to adapt to the conditioning of soccer, but she is a great addition.”
In addition to Cutright, some of the Trappers’ more experienced players — Shyley Hunter, Riley Surratt, Taryn Wagstaff and Kaitlin Castle — showed promise in the losses. As the team seeks to find its identity, Hill is looking to these players to lead the way.
“I’m asking them to step up and help the less experienced players,” Hill said. “They’re slowly learning to do that and help those players through this process.”
Before playing matches against Otero Junior College and Trinidad State Junior College on Saturday and Monday, Hill wants to see increased production offensively.
“We gotta recognize when the opponents are playing high line to get opportunities for one-on-one with the back or the keeper,” Hill said. “If we can do that, there will be more opportunities to get shots on goal.”
Saturday’s match against the Rattlers will begin at 11 a.m.