Coming off of its first victory of the season and a week-and-a-half of rest, the Northwest College men’s soccer team looked to continue its momentum
Coming off of its first victory of the season and a week-and-a-half of rest, the Northwest College men’s soccer team looked to continue its momentum last weekend, but ultimately fell short in home matches against Laramie County Community College (LCCC) and Casper College.
The Trappers (2-6-1 overall, 1-4-1 Region IX) squared off with No. 7 LCCC on Friday, but lacked a sense of urgency in a 5-0 loss.
In the first 15 minutes, NWC shared possession and countered when needed with the Golden Eagles (9-1-1 overall, 6-0-1 Region IX). LCCC opened the scoring off of a left-footed shot just outside of the box by Carlos Vargas.
It took just six more minutes for LCCC to double their advantage as they scored off another effort just outside the box to make it 2-0.
“The mistakes were what killed us against LCCC,” coach Rob Hill said. “The effort level in the first half was poor.”
LCCC added two more goals off a set piece and a scramble in the box to make the game 4-0 heading into halftime.
In the second half, Hill said the Trappers’ effort level and tactics changed and they were able to get some momentum, but it came too late to take advantage.
With neither team seeing a clear chance for most of the second half, LCCC added one more goal just before full time to finish the game 5-0.
Casper College 4, NWC 1
Coming out after a deflating loss on Friday, Hill felt he needed to change the team around against Casper (8-4-1 overall, 6-2 in Region IX) in order to try and pick up a better result.
Midway through the first half, sophomore goalie Matias Sandoval dislocated his shoulder on a save, which put him on the sidelines for the rest of the half.
“Gotta try and heal him up with his shoulder,” Hill said of Sandoval. “He is a real difference maker.”
Sophomore Bailey Jordan stepped in for Sandoval, logging his first minutes of the season.
The Trappers were back and forth with Casper for most of the first half but a 90 second lapse in play just before the half led the Trappers to a 2-0 deficit at halftime.
Hill felt the errors at the end of the half were preventable, but the team had chances in the second half.
Sandoval came back into goal in the second half, and helped save five shots.
Casper again found the net 15 minutes into the second half, extending its lead to 3-0.
The Trappers had their chances advancing towards goal, but were unable to get many shots on target.
NWC finally got its first goal of the weekend when sophomore Thomas Mullen scored off of a fast break to make the score 3-1.
The Thunderbirds added one final goal at the end of the match to make the final score 4-1.
“I felt like we worked our socks off in that game but unfortunately did not get the reward,” Hill said.
The Trappers were set to host Central Wyoming in a non-conference matchup on Wednesday, and will be back in action on Oct. 13 at Casper.
NWC wound up picking up a victory for its match against Northeastern on Sept. 4, after Northeastern fielded an ineligible player during the match.
GOALKEEPER OF WEEK
Matias Sandoval was named the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Goalkeeper of the Week for the week of Sept. 20 through 26.
“I was very surprised by the honor,” Sandoval said.
Sandoval earned the award by getting his first clean sheet of the season at Central Wyoming on Sept. 22.
Sandoval saved all eight shots on target during the match, and currently has the fourth-most saves in the NJCAA with 83.
During that week, Sandoval felt he played really well, helping the Trappers earn their first victory of the season.
He said they are hoping to regroup after this weekend and continue to improve — hopefully making a run at their first regional tournament game in two weeks.