Cardinals fall in district semifinals
The NIC men’s soccer team ended its season with a 3-1 loss to the Western Wyoming Community College Mustangs in a district semifinal game at Rock Springs, Wyo. Nov. 2.
Western Wyoming scored twice in the first 25 minutes of the game and scored its third and final goal after it intercepted a pass in the Cardinals’ defensive third.
The Cardinals went into halftime with a 3-0 deficit, but responded in the second half with a goal in the 65th minute.
Freshman John Ray connected with fellow freshman Lucas Zirotti, who put the ball in the net.
With less than 20 minutes left and the Cardinals down by two, NIC took a risk by pushing its players forward in an attempt to create more offensive opportunities.
The Cardinals were able to create more opportunities on offense but failed to convert any of them into goals.
“It’s not the best I had hoped for,” said NIC head coach Ken Thompson. “Obviously I wanted to do better. But we had a great team and I’m proud of them.”
NIC got off to a rough start to the season losing their first two games and starting with a 1-4-1 record. However, the Cardinals reeled off a 5-2-2 record from that point on to conclude the regular season 6-6-3 and qualified for nationals.
The Cardinals had 16 new players this year and frequently started seven freshmen.
NIC beat teams like Edmonds College, 2011 Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) North division champions, and rival Community Colleges of Spokane.
Thompson looks forward to next year and his returning players.
He is leaving shortly to recruit players out of the Seattle/Tacoma area.
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