Cougar soccer ties one and loses one to Western Wyoming

The Western Nebraska Community College and Western Wyoming Community College men's and women's soccer teams went overtime in both matches with the Cougar teams suffering opposite results.

The Cougar women out shot the Mustangs 21-8 but neither team managed a goal during regulation and the two 10-minute overtime periods to finish the game in a 0-0 tie.

The men's contest had a little bit more drama as both teams battled to a 2-2 tie after regulation. Western Wyoming then scored the winning goal with 14 seconds to play in the second overtime to win 3-2.

Patty Sylvester, the women's goalkeeper, had a superb stint in net for the Cougars, registering four saves and made some outstanding saves to thwart some Mustang shot attempts. Sylvester said that the women played well except for finding the back of the net.

"We put a big defensive game out there. We worked really hard and all our defense stayed strong. We fought to the end and tried to put as much pressure on them as we could," Sylvester said. " Once we get a goal, it will change the whole team dynamics. All of us are just waiting for that goal to make it so we can get another goal. it will help boost our confidence to know we can do it again."

Western Wyoming controlled the shot count in the first half, out shooting the Cougars 4-1. After that, the dominance went to the Cougars as WNCC eight shots compared to just five for the Mustangs. The Cougars had a barrage of shots with under five minutes to play, but couldn't get the winning goal in.

The first overtime period say the Cougars manage five shots, including a near miss with under five seconds to play that escaped the foot of Ashley Baker. The second overtime also saw the Cougars dominate with five shots compared to zero for Western Wyoming. The Cougars had two close shot attempts with under two minutes to play, but couldn't score.

Sylvester said being in goal during an overtime period is nerve racking, but she stayed cool in net.

"it so much pressure in there," teh freshman from Loveland, Colo., said. "I feel that if I miss and let a goal in that I let the team down. So, trying to just stay positive and stay focused while communicating with everybody that a player is covered to making sure every one is working hard so I don't have all the pressure on myself."

Sylvester said it is frustrating how the Cougars can't get a shot to go in the back of net. It seems like the net is cursed on the Cougars side.

"We can work it all the way down to the box and pass it around before someone takes a shot and it sky rockets or goes wide, or we will keep passing it waiting for someone to take the shot," she said. "Anytime when someone takes the shot, we just can't seem to get it there."

While the women had trouble finding the back of the net, the men didn't have that problem. The Western Wyoming men opened the scoring first, netting a goal just 13 minutes into the contest as Jarom Stuart scored off an assist from Bernard Manuel. The score stayed that way through halftime.

WNCC finally tied the game in the 35th minute of the second half as Jacob Santos sent a pass to Edwin Contreras, who skipped a shot into the back of the net from about 30 yards out.

The Mustangs came back to grab a 2-1 lead as Nathan Cutler scored off an assist from Jared Jess in the 27th minute. WNCC tied the contest in the final minutes as JC Fernandez scored off an assist from Contreras with 2:22 left in regulation. WNCC had one good shot to win the contest late, but the game went into overtime.

In the first overtime period, Western Wyoming had three good attempts with two going high. The Mustangs best change to score came with 30 seconds to play as Jess just missed. WNCC also had its chances to score as Thomas Wright missed a shot with 4:48 to go and the Cougars had another shot the missed with three minutes to go.

The Cougars outplayed the Mustangs in the second overtime period. WNCC had three shot opportunities to win the game, while the Mustangs had two. The Mustangs final shot, with 14.1 seconds to play, proved to be the game winner as Taylor Egbert took a pass from DJ Searcy and found the back of the net as the Mustang players stormed the field and dogpiled Egbert for nailing the gamewinner.

WNCC had 19 shots with six on frame while Western Wyoming had 13 shots with three on frame. Joey Rasnic had seven saves in net for the Cougars.

The Cougars will be back on the field at Landers Soccer Complex on Saturday when they host Northwest Wyoming. The women kick things off at noon with the men to follow.

Sylvester said the main goal for the women's team is to score and once that happens, then they can get more goals.

"We just need to find the back of the net," she said. "We just need to move the ball around, keep the pressure high on the opponent, and the defense should be pretty strong. We have to make sure we stay connected and put the ball in the back of the net."

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