The Western Nebraska Community College and Northeastern Junior College men’s soccer teams battled tooth and nail in the first half of the conference match Saturday at Landers Soccer Complex.
It was the second half that saw a different tone to the game as the two squads scored four goals. Unfortunately for the Cougar men, they came up on the short end, falling 3-1 to the Plainsmen to fall to 9-6 overall and 6-4 in conference play. WNCC will take the fifth seed into the playoffs next weekend.
NJC had a big shot advantage in the contest, out-shooting the Cougars 14-3 in the contest.
Even with that big of a margin, WNCC was in the contest for most of the match.
Both teams went into halftime knotted at 0-0. NJC wasted little time in the second half to get on the scoreboard. Quentin Hornung put the Plainsmen up 1-0 when he found the back of the net in the 53rd minutes.
NJC went up 2-0 six minutes later as Slater Andolsek found the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
WNCC kept battling and finally got on the scoreboard with 18 minutes to play when Jack Mann delivered a shot from the far sidelines that went into the back of the net to slice the lead to 2-1.
Two minutes later, however, the Plainsmen netted another goal as Hornung scored his second of the contest for a 3-1 lead.
NJC had the cornerkick advantage at 6-1.
Ruam Barbosa finished with six saves in net for the Cougars.
Pairings for the Region IX playoffs will be released next week.