Cougars win overtime game

The Western Nebraska Community College men's soccer team out shot Northeastern Junior College 36-8 Wednesday afternoon, but needed an overtime goal by Daniel Agnew to capture a 2-1 win over the Plainsmen at the Landers Soccer Complex.

Agnew said while the team started slow, they never lost confidence despite the hefty shot advantage.

"This is a big win. We didn't start off the best, but we preceded to win it in the end," Agnew said. "It was really important to get that goal at the end. We just need to go on from this win and get a couple wins this weekend."

The number of shots the Cougars missed was not a good sign. The team knows they have to start capitalizing on those opportunities.

"Us attackers have to start scoring more goals but they will come," he said. "It was pretty physical out there, but all that matters is we came out with a win."

The match never should have went into overtime in the first place as the Cougars had an 11-3 shot advantage in the first period. Still, neither team could muster a goal. The second half saw two goals scored. The first goal game in the 27th minute as NJC knocked in a own goal to put WNCC up 1-0. Three minutes later, the Plainsmen would tie the contest as Colton Hale scored off an assist from Jacob Price.

With 20 minutes to play in regulation, WNCC had ample opportunities to put in the go-ahead goal, including two prime shots with under three minutes to play. The Cougars couldn't find the back of the net, sending the match into overtime.

In the first overtime period, WNCC managed four prime scoring chances but missed wide on the shots. That sent the teams into the second overtime and on the Cougars' first scoring change, Agnew made sure the ball was going into the net. The freshman from Ireland took a pass from Edward Contreras from just outside the box and rocketed what seemed to be a 100 mph fastball into the back of the net for the game winner.

Agnew praised the play of the defense for keeping the offense the game.

"The defense played well," he said. "We just need to start scoring more goals and get some positive results."

The Cougars not only controlled the shots, but they managed 10 corner kicks to NJC's two. Joey Rasnic also gathered in seven saves in net for the Cougars. NJC's goalkeeper Trevor Shepherd also had a good game in net, getting 17 saves. Shepherd made the biggest save with under a minute to play in the first overtime as he scrambled outside the box on teh sideline to thwart a prime Cougar scoring opportunity.

Agnew said they definitely have to put more shots in goal this weekend as they get ready to host Western Wyoming Community College and Northwest College in women's and men's doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday. Friday's contest with WWCC starts at 1 p.m. for the women's contest, while Saturday's matches start at noon.

"This game was important to get a win in, but the next two games this weekend are important," he said.

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