Cougars split in Denver

DENVER – The Western Nebraska Community College women's soccer team used a strong second half to come back from a halftime deficit to defeat Johnson & Wales 3-1 Tuesday night in Denver.

The Cougar men weren't as fortunate, falling to Johnson & Wales 7-0 with playing being delayed by lightning in the first half.

The women's win was huge for a team that has now won two straight. Cougar sophomore Brianna "Shorty" Baumann said the team played well in the second half to get the win.

"In the second half we were more eager to the ball and we won all our 50-50 chances," Baumann from Spearfish, S.D. said. "We are coming together as a team. The second half is how we should be playing."

The Cougar women didn't play well the first half, trailing Johnson & Wales 1-0 at intermission. In fact, the Wildcats scored the first goal of the game just four minutes into the game by Amanda Thoe, assisted by Emily Dixon.

How WNCC played in the second half that turned the game, as well as the team mindset, around.

Raquel Flores, a sophomore from Aurora, Colo., said they owned the second half.

"I think we pretty much dominated the whole second half even before the first goal," she said. "We had plenty of shots before that first goal and then after that goal we just kept playing."

Brittany Scadlock, a freshman from West Haven, Utah, got things rolling for WNCC netting the first goal just four minutes into the half to tie the match off an assist from Jordyn Seidel, a freshman from Ft. Collins, Colo.

The match stayed deadlocked for the next 15 minutes until Nadia Rodriguez, a freshman from Commerce City, Colo., put in a penalty kick to give the Cougars the 2-1 lead in the 65th minutes.

WNCC added an insurance goal when Scadlock dished a pass to Seidel for the third goal of the match.

Bailee Dopp continued her strong play in net, making five saves. The Cougars had 14 shots on goal, nine of which came in the second half. The Cougars had five corner kicks to the Wildcats 4.

The men fell behind at halftime as the Wildcats netted their first goal with 28 minutes to play by Johnny Medina and added two more goals before half by Edwardo Orduno and JP Mile.

Johnson & Wales continued playing strong in the second half as Mile got his second goal of the match just 10 minutes into the second half. Andy Siddoway made it 5-0 with a goal three minutes later.

The Wildcats' Christian Gallegos capped off the scoring with two goals in a minute span for the 7-0 win.

Johnson & Wales had 20 shots to WNCC's seven. Justin Becerra took the loss in net, giving up five goals and making eight two saves. Alan Garcia also saw time in net, allowing two goals and making three saves.

Both teams will be back in action this weekend when they open up the home portion of their schedule. The teams will face Northwest College on Friday with the women playing at 3:30 p.m. and the men at 5:30. Both teams will then host Sheridan on Saturday with games slated for 2 and 4 p.m. Both games are Region IX contests and will be played at the Landers Soccer Complex.

Flores said the team is excited to be playing at home.

"We are pretty excited to play at home," she said. "It will be something different for us in having plenty of support there. We pretty much have our mind set to play this weekend how we played the second half for our home games. We are ready for what is next."

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