The NIC Lady Cardinals’ soccer team lost 2-1 to the Laramie County Golden Eagles in the NJCAA District C semifinals Nov. 2.
Undefeated in their previous nine games, the Cardinals were flying high entering their first game of the tournament in Cheyenne, Wyo.
“We were definitely hitting our stride towards the end of the season,” said coach Dan Hogan. “But unfortunately, Cheyenne is just a hard place to play.”
The final loss concluded the Cardinals’ season with a 9-4-2 record.
Hogan is already looking forward to the 2013 season.
“The freshman and I are excited about building off this year and working for the next one,” Hogan said. “I think specifically our two freshman goalkeepers coming back next year, Whittni Mundel and Alex Rodriguez, will end up seeing the most improvements over the offseason.”
Hogan also expects Kacey McConagha and Emilee Cordon to improve in both their physical abilities and leadership roles on the team.
Hogan was really impressed with the improvements Kellsi Parson made this year.
“Kellsi Parson has definitely proved throughout the year that she is one of our best players,” Hogan said. “She picked things up really fast and was definitely a key to our success in every game.”
Freshman forward Ellie Engel also improved over the course of the season according to Hogan.
Beginning the season sidelined with bronchitis, it was a tough start to her college career.
“She just kept getting better and better throughout the year, ending up scoring our only goals in the last two games of the season,” Hogan said.
Though none of the sophomores have yet to commit to a four-year college, Hogan said Alaina Webb and Elli Kiselica are looking into a couple different schools.
In addition, sophomore Anna Valentine has had talks with an Australian soccer team and is considering sending them some film, hoping to get a tryout.
NIC should have close to 11 returners on the 2013 team, giving them experience going into next year. Similar to the 11 sophomores on the 2011 14-2 team, fans should have a lot to look forward to with this veteran group.