WNCC soccer falls in overtime to North Idaho
The Western Nevada Community College women’s soccer team learned a painful lesson that likely cost it a shot at the Scenic West Athletic Conference regular season title.
WNCC played solid soccer for 90-plus minutes, but it was the last few seconds of the match that proved costly. The Wildcats suffered a letdown and let North Idaho College’s Megan Wells score from the right side, giving North Idaho a 3-2 win over WNCC in sudden death overtime on Saturday at Edmonds Park.
North Idaho also took control of the Scenic West regular season race, sweeping both games from the Wildcats (5-6-2, 2-2). But all is not lost for WNCC as its the winner of the Scenic West postseason tournament that will advance to the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.
It’s a virtual lock that WNCC will play Salt Lake City Community College in the first round of the tournament. It’s also a virtual lock with a win against Salt Lake, WNCC would play North Idaho in the finals for a shot at the NJCAA playoffs. The Wildcats know they can play with both teams, having beating Salt Lake 4-2.
WNCC also feels like it should have won on Saturday. “I’m really frustrated,” WNCC coach Hillary Arthur said. “I’m frustrated because we worked so hard. Small, little mental lapses.
“Just a mental lapse and we get unlucky and the cross went in. You can’t let up until the whistle blows.”
Arthur, though, wasn’t frustrated with her team’s effort. “I’m really proud of the way we played,” she said.
“I think this was one of our best games if not the best. We did a great job. I thought we played really well.”
And Arthur is obviously hoping for another shot to play North Idaho. “Fortunately we get to see them again in the playoffs,” she said.
While North Idaho had twice as many shots on goal as WNCC, 18-9, it was actually the Wildcats who controlled the flow of the game, leading 2-1 in the second half. WNCC had the lead thanks in large part to goalie Allie Otto, who had an outstanding game with 15 saves. “We controlled the game,” Arthur said.
WNCC jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first minute when Courtney Hayes scored from 25 yards. Otto came up big in a sequence a few minutes later.
North Idaho was clearly offsides, but no call was made and North Idaho had a breakaway. Otto came out to deflect the ball away from a North Idaho player and Alison Pyne was able to clear the ball.
Pyne was tripped up on the play by a North Idaho player and had to come out of the game. She was able to return, but no foul was called and North Idaho ended up with a corner kick.
Carson ended up being called for a hands violation in the goal box on the corner kick, giving North Idaho a penalty kick. But Otto stopped McKenzie Favero’s penalty shot. Moments later, Otto made a diving save.
But North Idaho tied the score 1-1 when Raquel Homan scored on a breakaway. WNCC answered when Phalon Mauntel sent a ball forward and Courtney Lenhart beat goalie Makayla Desjarlais to the ball and put it into the open net to give the Wildcats a 2-1 halftime lead.
Lenhart almost gave WNCC an insurance goal early in the second half when he shot from the left side deflected off the far right post.
North Idaho was able to tie it 2-2 when Otto came out to knock away a corner kick and was knocked down by a North Idaho player on the play. But no foul was called and Kim Pearce went on to score. “I wished the calls would have been more consistent,” Arthur said.
WNCC’s best shot to win it in regulation came with one minute, 30 seconds left when Mauntel’s shot sailed over the crossbar. Others taking shots for WNCC included Jessica Maule, Virginia Loyola, Demi Vega, Savannah Gray, Christina Bradshaw, Meghan Olsen and Melissa Goldfin.
Note: WNCC will hold a fan appreciation barbecure at 3 p.m. today at Carson Hot Springs, 1500 Hot Springs Road. Anyone who has supported the team in any way this year is invited.