The Western Nebraska Community College men’s soccer team battled from a first-half deficit to capture a come-from-behind win over Central Wyoming College 5-3 in a Region IX conference game on Saturday at the Landers Soccer Complex. 

                WNCC moves to 4-1-1 on the season but more importantly are 2-0 in conference play. The Cougars will have next weekend off and won’t return to competitive action until September 22 and 23 when they travel to face Casper and Gillette College. 

                WNCC head coach Todd Rasnic said the team played well after a slow start that saw WNCC trail 3-1 to the Rustlers. 

                “We had a slow start, obviously. We just game out flat and didn’t have the feet underneath us,” Rasnic said. “This team (Central Wyoming) was well prepared and well coached. They came and did exactly what they needed to do to get on the board first. I have to hand it to our guys, we changed some tactical things at halftime, but other than that our guys stepped up. They played the way they have every game. I just don’t like to see the second half in a game to win, but we will take it. It is a win and move on from here to see what happens.” 

                WNCC started the contest off fast as they scored the first goal of the contest just a minute into the match when Pablo Dominguez delivered a pass to Eduardo Oliveira for the goal. 

                After that, Central Wyoming’s Tanner Johnson took over as the freshman earned the hat trick by scoring three goals in 15 minutes of time.  

                Johnson’s first goal came just four minutes after WNCC scored to tie the match at 1-1. Johnson put the Rustlers up 2-1 two minutes later with another score. Central Wyoming went up 3-1 as Johnson hit a penalty kick with 23 minutes to play for the hat trick. 

                WNCC kept playing hard, but missed on a couple prime scoring opportunities. Then, with 1:17 to play in the half, Maxime Niyibaho fed Jeronimo Zelaya Diaz with the ball and the freshman punched the ball into the net to bring the score to 3-2 and that that is where the teams went into halftime at. 

                The second half was all WNCC as the Cougars scored three times from four different players. WNCC tied the match at 3-3 with 35:52 to play as Oliveira picked up an assist as he delivered a pass to Lucas Ovalle for the score. 

                Four minutes later, WNCC took the lead as Abdoulie Fatty brought the ball up the field, moved to the inside and scored for the 4-3 lead.  

                Both teams kept fighting and had shots to either tie the match or expand the lead. WNCC finally got an insurance goal with 4:51 to play as the duo that score the Cougar’s first goal of the match hooked up again when Dominguez found Oliveira, who scored to make it 5-3.  

                WNCC had 15 shots in the contest. WNCC won the corner kick battle with 10 corners to three for Central Wyoming. 

                WNCC goalkeeper Hernan Burdiles had five saves in net. 

WNCC women’s soccer ties Central Wyoming 

                Playing a little beat up, the Western Nebraska Community College women’s soccer team played with plenty of heart and found a way to capture a tie, 2-2, with Central Wyoming College in a Region IX conference contest Saturday at Landers Soccer Complex. 

                Alieen Perez, who netted both goals in the second half, said they took steps in the right direction against Central Wyoming. 

                “The team played very well,” the sophomore from Colorado said. “We all played our hearts off and even though we could’ve gotten a win, this is a closer step to where we want to be.” 

                The Cougars, along with the Rustlers from Central Wyoming, had plenty of opportunities to score but the goalkeepers from both teams came up big. Both teams also missed excellent scoring opportunities all game long. 

                WNCC started the contest with a couple of scoring opportunities but could get the ball in the net. Just six minutes into the contest, the opposite was for Central Wyoming as Emma Mansell scored on a shot that went into the top corner of the net.  

                WNCC kept controlling the pace and had eight good shots but couldn’t find the back of the net. Lesley Vasquez had a pinpoint shot from beyond the top of the circle and her shot was aimed to go in but hit the top of the bar and bounced back into play with two minutes left in the first half. 

                Perez then beat the Central Wyoming goalkeeper with 38 seconds left in the half but shanked the shot wide as Central Wyoming had the 1-0 halftime lead. 

                The second half was a different story for WNCC and Perez said the team played with more intensity. 

                “In the second half, we played with more intensity and confidence,” she said. “We came out stronger and helped one another.” 

                Perez came out in the second half and made sure to get things going for WNCC on the right track. In the 55th minute, Perez took a pass from Tania Razo and calmly planted the ball into the back of the net to tie the game. 

                Central Wyoming came right back and went back in front about five minutes later as Barbara Ruiz scored off a free kick that started within the box and found the ball in a scrum and scored. 

                The Cougars kept battling and with 20 minutes to play, Perez netted her second goal of the contest as the sophomore calmly planted the ball from a penalty kick into the net. 

                The final 15 minutes of the game saw WNCC kept battling to get the winning goal. WNCC missed on one good try with 13 minutes left and then with 2:40 to play, Central Wyoming had another free kick, but Cougar goalkeeper Emily Villagomez made a save. 

                With a minute left, WNCC missed inside the box on another scrum as both teams had to settle for the tie. 

                WNCC had 23 shots in the game compared to seven for Central Wyoming. Villagomez had eight saves in net for the Cougars. 

                WNCC also had five corner kicks to just one for the Rustlers. 

                WNCC will be back in action on Saturday when they host Western Wyoming Community College at 1 p.m. at the Landers Soccer Complex. Perez and the team know they have to come ready to play against a team that is ranked in the NJCAA soccer polls. 

                “Next week is going to be tough but we keep learning from each game and will keep preparing,” she said. “The key (to the Wester Wyoming game) is to play strong since the beginning and put all the work in practice this whole next week.” 

WNCC volleyball falls twice at NJC invite 

                STERLING, Colo. – The Western Nebraska Community College volleyball dropped a pair of matches on Saturday of the Sheila Worley Invitational in Sterling, Colorado, on Saturday. 

                WNCC opened play on Saturday falling to 10th-ranked New Mexico Military Institute 25-17, 25-15, 25-17, before falling to Dodge City Community College in straight sets 25-15, 25-19, 25-19. 

                WNCC, 6-8 on the season, will be back in action this weekend with five matches as they get set to host the Wyo-Braska Classic. WNCC opens the home classic on Thursday night when they face Missouri State West Plains at 6 p.m. 

                The New Mexico Military contest saw the Cougars hit just .012 for the match with no Cougar managing more than six kills. The Cougars also had 23 hitting errors in the defeat. Kyana Gabriel led the way with six kills along with six digs.  

                Dani Cruz and Lilly Zwart each had five kills in the loss. 

                Taylor Tyser finished with 14 digs in the contest while Shanelle Martinez had 15 set assists with three block assists. 

                Also for WNCC, Finja Schul and Charli Blackman each had three kills and three digs. Schul also had two solo blocks and three assist blocks. 

                The Dodge City match was competitive as the Cougars had opportunities to win the sets, but strong service runs by Dodge City late in the game gave DCCC the win. 

                After the dropping the first set 25-15, WNCC opened the second set up 3-0 and had had the match tied at 12-12 before Dodge City ran off seven straight points for a 19-12 lead. WNCC came back to cut the lead to 21-18 on two Cruz points, but Dodge City claimed the 25-19 win. 

                The third set saw WNCC up 8-6 before the Dodge City service took affect as DCCC went up 10-8 on five straight points and then led 17-11 after another four points. 

                WNCC battled back in cutting the lead to 18-15 on two Blackman points and trailed 20-18 on two Taylor Tyser points. WNCC was withing 21-19 when Dodge City closed out the match with four straight points. 

                WNCC was led by Zwart with 12 kills along with six digs, three block assists, and three points. Blackman finished with five kills and two points, while Cruz, Gabriel, and Chloe Grady all had two kills. Martinez had a double-double with 25 set assists and 12 digs, while Tyser had 10 digs. Cruz added four points with 13 digs.  

                Schul had four solo blocks and two assisted blocks, while Megan Bewley had eight digs.