STERLING, Colo. – The Western Nebraska Community College women’s soccer team received two goals from freshman Thais Nayara in running to a 3-2 Region IX South win over Northeastern Junior College Wednesday afternoon in Sterling, Colorado.
While the women picked up a win, the Cougar men weren’t as fortunate. NJC scored five, second-half goals in registering the 6-0 win.
WNCC soccer coach Todd Rasnic said he was pleased with how the women’s team played Wednesday.
“I think we played pretty well. We possessed really well today. We had some good moments of possession,” Rasnic said. “We did some really good things defensively shutting NJC down. We were then able to find some opportunities to get in front of goal and score, which has been eluding us a little bit. I thought they did a good job of penetrating into the final third in front of goal and getting shots off.
“Carol [Vieiera] scored another goal from pretty far out which is her second one in two games. She has done a good job of keeping us in the game and then Thais scored two today, so she really stepped up. She went out with an injury and then came back in towards the end of the game and scored the winning goal. Overall, I thought it was a good performance. “
The Cougar women did have one of their better games this season in picking up their third win of the season and their second straight.
The WNCC women controlled the contest on Wednesday for the most part, running to a 2-0 lead before only leading 2-1 at halftime.
WNCC scored first just five minutes into the contest on a Caroline Vieiera goal. WNCC grabbed a 2-0 lead after Vieira delivered a pass to Nayara who put the ball into the back of the net in the 34th minutes.
NJC knotted the match at 2-2 as NJC earned an own goal in the 53rd minute for a 2-2 tie.
The match stayed that way until the 74th minute when Nayara took a 40-foot shot and sailed it into the back of the net to give the Cougars a 3-2 lead.
From there the defense took over, shutting down the NJC offense to the Cougars’ third win of the season. The win was WNCC’s second straight victory.
A big key in the win was shooting. WNCC outshot NJC 15-9. The Cougars had six shots on goal compared to just two for NJC.
Laramie Lake had a good match in net, making four saves.
The men’s game was a different story. Rasnic said his team flat out didn’t show up to play and it showed.
“The guys just didn’t show up today. They came to the game, but we were not mentally and physically prepared to play the game today,” Rasnic said. “NJC jumped out on us early. A little bit after halftime I took all the starters off and put in all my subs. It was a game that after that third goal, I recognized that we weren’t going to win and we needed to get our freshmen some experience.”
Rasnic said it is one loss and it is what they do after this loss that matters.
“In the scheme of it, it is one game against NJC and we have another one coming up later,” he said. “We just need to make sure the next time we stay focused and we are ready to step out and play them at the right level.”
The Cougar men had troubles uncorking their offense, an offense that scored 13 goals against Colorado Northwestern and came into the match on a four-game winning streak. The Cougar men were outshot 16-5 on the day. NJC had 12 shots on goal compared to just three for WNCC.
NJC scored first in the 21st minute on a goal by Jean Carre, who went one-on-one with a Cougar defender before burying the ball into the back of the net. After that, neither team scored as the Plainsmen led 1-0 at intermission.
The Plainsmen heated up the offense in the second half, scoring five goals. Carre scored his second goal in the 51st minute. NJC went up 3-0 when Dani van Steijn scored in the 54th minute for a 3-0 lead.
Van Steijn scored his second goal in the 74th minute for a 4-0 lead. NJC added two late scores by Maurice Von Winkler and Quentin Hornung for the final margin.
WNCC had just five shots, four of which were on goal, while NJC had 16 shots, 11 of which were on frame.
Leandro Faria had six saves in net while giving up four goals. Viktar Kravets had five saves and gave up two late goals.
Both Cougar teams will be back in action Saturday when they host their home-opener against Gillette College. The women’s match kicks off at 1 p.m.followed by the men’s contest at 3 p.m.
“I think they are ready. The women are more focused and I think they are doing what I thought they would do and that is come around as we got closer to mid-season and accelerate a little bit,” Rasnic said. “I think the men just had a bad day and I don’t think it is anything permanent and anything that will keep them from pushing forward, but this has to be one of the only ones they have. I think they will bounce back and play well; I am not concerned about it at this point.”