Salt Lake Raiders rally past Wildcats
By Dave Price
Appeal Sports Writer
Demi Vega scored the first-ever home goal for Western Nevada Community College and the Wildcats controlled the first half on Thursday. It wasn't enough to collect their first win, however, because Salt Lake Community College dominated the second half en route to a 2-1 victory against WNCC at Edmonds Sports Complex.
Jen Stephens and Kim Koji connected for goals within a span of seven minutes early in the second half to provide the difference as the Bruins from Salt Lake City improved their season record to 4-2-1 on an ideal autumn afternoon.
The Wildcats dropped to 4-4-2 with one home date remaining on their schedule, an 11 a.m. nonconference contest Saturday against Southern Idaho at Edmonds. And coach Hillary Arthur will be looking for a complete game from the first-year WNCC squad.
"You can't just bring it one half and expect to win. You have to play hard both the first half and second half." Arthur said.
"We played really well for about the first 30 minutes of the first half. I thought we were controlling the ball and making good offensive attacks. Unfortunately, we definitely had a letdown in the second half. We were playing catchup the entire second half; it seemed like we were always a step behind playing chase."
The Wildcats attacked early when Sabrina Cantrell struck a high shot from the left side that Salt Lake goalkeeper Amanda Lange deflected over the far post for what would prove to be a key save.
WNCC finally scored in the 21st minute as Chrissy Katzorke fed a through ball into the 18-yard box, where Vega beat Lange to the ball and rolled it into the left corner of the net for a 1-0 lead. The goal was Vega's first this season.
The Bruins, who were coming off a hard-fought win against Colorado State University's club team last Saturday, began to show signs of life in the final 15 minutes before halftime.
"I think the eight-hour bus ride left us almost stiff, but then we settled down and started playing our game," Salt Lake coach Enrique Velasquez said. "We talked at halftime about playing our brand of soccer. We didn't want to get into a track meet. We like to play possession, to keep the ball at feet, and in the second half I think we forced them to play our game."
The qualizer came when Stephens took a pass on the left side from Jill Campbell and blasted a 22-yarder to the near post in the 52nd minute. Then, in the 59th minute, Koji gained control of the ball from a crowd in front of the net and converted the go-ahead goal.
"A 1-0 lead can be very deceiving," Arthur said. "It just takes one goal and all of a sudden the other team has momentum. Then, if they score again, the momentum is really going their way."
Salt Lake had a couple of other opportunities, except WNCC goalkeeper Rachelle Goulet came out to break up a 1-on-1 breakaway and sweeper Dominique Gloude cleared the ball away from Annalisa Milo on another breakaway.
"Dominique is a rock out there every game," Arthur said of Gloude, who was an all Sunset Region player as a senior Silverado High in Las Vegas. "She is consistently good, she plays smart and she always plays her guts out."
Notes: Cantrell, a freshman from Dayton who has worked her way into a starting role for the Wildcats, sang the National Anthem before the game. ... The Wildcats and Bruins played to a 0-0 tie in Salt Lake City on Sept. 16. ... Salt Lake Community College plays as a club team that is bidding to gain membership into the Scenic West Athletic Conference.
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