Cougar soccer splits in Pratt
GREAT BEND, Kan. -- The Western Nebraska Community College soccer teams split a matches against Pratt Community College on Saturday in Great Bend, Kan.
The Cougar women got a penalty kick from Ari Herrera with a minute to play to trip up Pratt 2-1 in the Cougars season opener. The men weren't as fortunate falling to Pratt 3-1 despite dominating on shots on goal 14-8.
WNCC coach Todd Rasnic said his women's team, which played without three players because of injuries, played extremely well in dominating action. The Cougars outshot Pratt 17-2.
"We dominated them and the score didn't reflect the score of the game," he said. "We completely out controlled them. We held possession of the ball about 80 percent of the game."
The Cougars got on the scoreboard board first as Herrera and Dani Copsey teamed up for the assist as Gering's Chanice Blanco found the back of the net in the 23rd minute.
Pratt came back to tie the match at 1-1 with a score by Holly Harrod in the 29th minutes. That is where the game stayed until late in the game.
With a minute left, Herrera, the sophomore from Grand Junction, Colo., went one on one and beat the Pratt defender before she was tripped in the box. Herrera then put in the penalty kick left of the goal keeper for the go-ahead goal.
WNCC finished with 17 shots on goal, including nine on frame. Pratt managed just one shot on goal in each half. Katie Peterson, a freshman from Loveland, Colo., was in net for the Cougars making one save. Peterson, who usually serves as a defender, was called into duty after starting goalkeeper Bailey Wenz and back-up Patty Sylvester were both sidelined with injuries.
The Cougar men had a rough day on the pitch. The Cougars dominated play, out-shooting Pratt 18-9, including 14 shots on frame. But the Cougars managed just one goal.
Pratt struck first, netting two goals within a minute time frame. The first goal came in the 21st minute and then the second goal game in the 22nd minute. Both of Pratt's goals came on defensive breakdowns.
WNCC sliced the lead in half with a goal in the 26th minute when Adhemor Lino scored off an assist from Cody Thompson to put the score at 2-1 going into half.
Pratt added an insurance goal two minutes into the second half as Pratt scored off a free kick.
Rasnic said they played well except scoring.
"Basically we did everything right in the game but finish the ball," he said. "We had zero luck today. We dominated them. FIve of their shots on goal came in the first five minutes and after that we settled down."
Rasnic said his team also played much of the game short-handed after one of his players got a red card. Then, with 12 minutes left, both teams went back to equal as one of Pratt's players was red carded.
Both squads will be back in action Sunday when they face Barton Community College. The women play at 11 a.m. followed by the men at 1 p.m. in Great Bend, Kan. After that, the Cougars return home for their home opener on Saturday against Northwest Kansas Technical College beginning at 1 p.m. at the Landers Soccer Complex.
"I was encouraged with how we possessed the game, but discouraged of how we finished," Rasnic said. "We need to change that for today's game or we will get beat against Barton."
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