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WNCC women top Trinidad, advance to regionals

WNCC women top Trinidad, advance to regionals

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TRINIDAD, Colo. – Destiny Mueller scored one of the biggest goals of her soccer career.

The Gering High graduate raced to the goal and scored with three seconds left in the first overtime to had the Western Nebraska Community College women’s soccer team a 2-1 overtime win over Trinidad State Junior College Saturday in Trinidad in the first-round of the Region IX tournament.

The win sends the Cougars, 6-5-2, into the semifinals next weekend.

Saturday’s win was especially sweet for the Cougars as during the regular season, Trinidad State ran roughshod over WNCC, winning 7-2 at Landers Soccer Complex.

Saturday, it was a different story and different game. Mueller said it was a huge win for the Cougar program.

“This was a big win for us considering that we lost 7-2 last time,” Mueller said. “We wanted to show them that we are competition.”

It was a competitive game, too.

Mueller said the defense played extremely well compared to the first meeting between the two schools.

“We man marked and played together,” Mueller said. “We fought really hard and won the 1v1 battles on the field. The defense did amazing getting the ball up the field to the forwards and the wing players to give us opportunities up top.”

Trinidad struck first scoring first just 9:28 into the match on a goal by Angelique Valencia. After that score neither team scored again in the half as Trinidad State held a 1-0 lead.

Both teams played tough in the second half. Finally, with 23:40 gone in the second half, Andrea Jimenez evened the match with a goal. Both teams continued playing tight defense as both teams finished regulation knotted at 1-1, forcing overtime.

Overtime saw both teams battle back and forth. Trinidad State had a late corner kick and a good shot that WNCC goalkeeper Ana Von Ruden saved. With 9:22 to play, the Cougars got the ball back and a long shot was stopped by the Trojan defense, but the kick ended up going to a Cougar and a pass to Mueller sent the speedy forward down the side as she out-ran the Trojan defender and from just outside the box, with time running out in overtime, planted the ball in the upper 90 for the game winner, sending the Trojans in disbelieve and the Cougar bench and players storming the field to congratulate Mueller.

Mueller said there was plenty of emotion with the game winner from the team.

“The emotions where everywhere on the field,” she said. “We were happy with the outcome because we pushed ourselves on the field.”

Trinidad State had seven shots while WNCC had four. The Trojans also won the cornerkick battle 7-4 over the Cougars.

Von Ruden had seven players in net.

WNCC advances to the semifinals to played probably in Cheyenne at the No. 1 team’s site. Mueller said they will work hard this coming week to go after a Region IX title.

“The next step is to practice hard and keep winning until we make it all the way,” she said.

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Mark Rein is a correspondent with the Star-Herald. Email sports@starherald.com to reach Mark.

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