Men – Xavier nets hat trick in WNCC overtime win
Silvio Xavier netted a hat trick in helping the Western Nebraska Community College men’s soccer team to a 3-2 overtime win over Western Wyoming Community College Saturday at Landers Soccer Complex.
Xavier scored the winner just 48 seconds into the first overtime period to give the Cougars their 9th win of the season.
WNCC coach Todd Rasnic said Xavier had a big day in the second half.
“A couple times this year he has stepped up and performed with a hat trick,” Rasnic said. “The guy is a special player. When he decides he is going to take the game and put it on his shoulders, that is what he does. I appreciate that about him.”
WNCC’s win was highlighted by a second half where the Cougars overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit. They did that, according to Rasnic.
“I think we came out sluggish in the first half. We came out very slow. We played a team that came to beat us and they came to play a 90-minute match of soccer,” Rasnic said. “We had to work out of a deficit the second half and did a great job coming back. Overall, we learned a lot and learned to play with good heart. I hope going forward we can build on it. Hopefully, this will help them in their quest to move forward as we come into the Region IX playoffs that are coming up soon.”
The win was huge for the character of the Cougars after falling 2-0 to Trinidad State Junior College last Sunday. They rebounded from that loss and now Rasnic hopes his team can carry this win into Wednesday’s road contest against Northeastern Junior College.
“We have a game with NJC on Wednesday that is a conference game, and we really need to come out with a victory,” he said. “We hope the guys keep moving forward and we don’t have any more setbacks.”
The match was intense with neither team finding the back of the net until with 4 minutes, 10 seconds left in the first half when Western Wyoming’s Briston Lowell found the back of the net for the 1-0 halftime lead.
The second half was a battle between both squads for the first 25 minutes. Finally, the two team’s offense awakened. Xavier scored the tying goal off an assist from Ranses Atahualpa with 21:10 to play.
Six minutes later, the same two players hooked up again. This time, Xavier took the pass from Atahualpa inside the box and on his knees, headed the ball into the back of the net for the 2-1 lead.
WNCC missed on an excellent opportunity to go up 3-1 when Atahualpa missed a penalty kick with 14 minutes to play.
Western Wyoming worked off that momentum swing of the missed PK as Josh Abplanalp scored with 10 minutes to play to tie the match at 2-2.
It didn’t take long for WNCC to score in the first overtime. Lawan Abary got the ball and drove to the goal, feeding a pass to Xavier who tapped the ball into a wide-open net for the winner.
WNCC finished with 10 shots on goal compared to five for Western Wyoming.
Juan Garfio of Minatare had three saves in net for the Cougars.
WNCC will wrap up the regular season next week with three matches. The Cougars will travel to NJC on Wednesday before hosting Central Community College-Columbus on Friday in a conference contest and then Gillette College on Saturday.
Women – WNCC suffers loss to Western Wyoming
The Western Nebraska Community College women’s soccer team continues its struggles in finding the back of the net after falling to Western Wyoming Community College 5-0 on Saturday at the Landers Soccer Complex.
WNCC’s goal-scoring struggles, however, aren’t a sign of not getting shots, it is just bad luck as WNCC had a couple scoring chances that either hit the crossbar or just went wide.
Saturday, on a day where there was a stiff wind blowing out of the west, the goal scoring went the way of the Mustangs. Western Wyoming had 12 shots on goal to just three for WNCC. Both shots came with the Cougars going with the wind.
Western Wyoming scored first under five minutes into the game when Maylee Thompson took a shot that snuck through the hands of the Cougar goalkeeper. After that, the Cougar defense played great holding Western at bay.
WNCC also had two great chances to score. First Tanya Bertani missed on a shot in tight. Then, Scottsbluff’s Morgan Smith blasted a shot that hit the crossbar and came back into play. Western Wyoming would go up 2-0 late in the first half as Yaidian Cardenas scored with a shot that went in the top corner with 11 seconds to play in the opening half.
Western Wyoming went up 3-0 less than two minutes in the second half on a goal by Kenzie Lucas off a corner kick. Once again the Cougar defense played strong holding the Mustangs scoreless for nearly 25 minutes and that included a missed penalty kick.
Western Wyoming went up 4-0 with 15:30 to play on a goal by Katelin Nielsen and then added an insurance goal with 3:30 to play on a Jaclyn Edwards goal.
Jordyn Rivera finished with nine saves in net for the Cougars.
WNCC will look to rebound with a conference road trip to Sterling, Colorado, to face Northeastern Junior College on Wednesday. The Cougars will then close out the regular season with a home contest against Gillette College on Saturday.