CWC soccer teams tipped by Northwest and GilletteSep 13, 2019 Clair McFarland, Staff Writer
It was a rough weekend on the road for the injury-ridden Central Wyoming College soccer teams, which lost to Gillette College and Northwest College in both men's and women's action.
The CWC athletes have sustained six concussions in the young season.
On Friday, the men started out strong against Gillette College on the latter's home pitch, with offense-heavy, confident play. Tristen Kingsley converted a penalty kick in the Rustlers favor to produce the first goal, and the team held the opponent to a 1-0 deficit for several minutes.
But then, the Rustlers were spooked by their own success.
CWC head coach Brooks Paskett said that on the field "we started really worrying about protecting the win, guarding that goal, and we started slowly retreating."
The conversion from offensive groundskeepers to cautious defenders in a team, Paskett said, does not produce victory, but has the opposite effect: taking the strain off of the opponent's defense and driving the onus back onto its front by concentrating play around the net.
"We should have kept playing our game, taking it toward them," he said.
Gillette College produced three goals against the Rustlers, for the 3-1 win.
The players of the Northwest College men's soccer team number 32 and are extremely well-disciplined.
Paskett said his team's Saturday opponent was "very methodical, very good at passing. Just moving the ball."
In depth and precision the Rustlers were outmatched on Saturday, giving up two goals to Northwest in the first half and three in the second.
Despite the disparity, Paskett said the game was an exercise in "man-marking" for his athletes, and hopes that his team will continue to hone the skill of anticipating roles and trajectories among individual players before it faces Northwest again.
On Friday, the CWC women's soccer team faced Gillette College and lost 12-0.
Gillette scored three goals in the first half and nine in the second - but Paskett said that second half score was not indicative of an actual improvement in play from the Rustlers' first half.
"We did pick up our play in the second half, which I am very happy with," said the coach.
He said that the women played well defensively but that Gillette was relentless about taking shots.
The Riverton High School lead keeper of yesteryear, Madyson Pantle, was a cornerstone of the game. although those nine goals sneaked through in the second half, Paskett estimated her save record for that half to be well into the 30s.
"I give a lot of credit to her," she said.
Northwest - and concussions
Against Northwest College, another RHS alumnus - Carlee Flanagan - scored a goal in the first half, driving a solid approach and finish into the net for the Rustlers' first marker.
Northwest put away three during that first half, and both teams kept the score from advancing further throughout the second. CWC lost 3-1 - a much shorter fall than the one Friday.
"I think we're pretty well-matched with Northwest," said Paskett.
If his team regains its health, he said, the players may be able to reign in this foe in future games.
However, although the men's and women's teams have only been playing competitively for two weeks, they have sustained six concussions among them, which Paskett said is unfamiliar territory for him.
"This is something that I've never seen before in my 32 years of playing soccer," he noted. "I've never seen this many concussions."
If the men and women of the CWC soccer program can heal up properly, they may face an advantage in the coming weekend as they embrace the lower altitude that will meet them in Nebraska, where they will confront Nebraska teams Northeast Community College and Central Community College.
"I'm looking forward to seeing if we can translate the intensity and the passion that we're trying to work on this week in practice," said the coach.
He said that there will always be challenging teams out there, and there will often be factors beyond a team's control, "but if we're doing our best and executing what we've been working on - that's what really matters to me."