There was plenty of first-half scoring and plenty of defense in the second half on the day between the Western Nebraska Community College and Otero Junior College soccer teams in Region IX South action Saturday at Landers Soccer Complex.
The women’s contest saw Otero score three goals in a 10-minute span in the first half to earn a 3-2 win over the Cougar women.
The men’s contest was just as close as Otero scored two goals in the first half and then held off the Cougar men for a 2-1 win.
The women’s contest had plenty of offense in the first half and plenty of defense in the second half.
WNCC’s Perla Guzman, who had one of the goals for the Cougar women, said they played well, just fell short.
“We played well as a team and were working together,” she said. “We played better than other games.”
The Cougar women did play, for the most, part better especially scoring two first-half goals and holding Otero to without a goal in the second half.
Amy Romero, who was one of the defenders that pitched a shut-out in the second half, said they played hard in this contest.
“We put our heads down in the first half [when they scored the third goal], but we came back up in the second half,” Romero said. “We pressured really well and we were on the opponent at all times. We also had some better communication and gave it our all.”
The first half was no doubt offensive. Guzman netted the first goal of the game for the Cougars just six minutes into the contest after taking a pass from Bethany Fuchs.
The lead didn’t last long as the Rattlers scored three goals within a six-minute period to grab a 3-1 lead. WNCC kept fighting as Thais Nayara scored for the Cougars with 10 minutes to play off an assist from Fuchs, her second of the game to cut the lead to 3-2. That is where it stayed heading into the second half.
The second half saw plenty of offensive tries, but both teams’ defenses were playing tough. WNCC put up a fight at the end to get the tying goal, but couldn’t get a shot into the back of the net.
WNCC had nine shots, six of which were on goal.
Laramie Lake had seven saves in net for the Cougars.
The men’s contest was much the same as the women with the only difference being Otero holding a 2-0 lead. The Rattlers scored the first goal with 10 minutes to play in the first half and added a second goal with 1:25 to play in the opening 45 minutes.
WNCC quickly answered to cut the lead in half, netting a goal with 49.1 seconds to play in the half as Thomas Franze found Silvio Xavier, who put the ball into the back of the net as the Cougars trailed 2-1 at half.
The second half was all defense. WNCC, in the final five minutes, the Cougars had about four chances to score but each time the Rattler defense came up strong, including Otero’s goalkeeper making a one-handed reaching save to thwart the tying goal.
WNCC had 15 shots, six of which were on frame. Otero had 14 shots with six on frame.
Leandro Faria had six saves in net.
Both teams will be back in action Friday when they travel to Rock Springs, Wyoming, to take on Western Wyoming Community College.