Lady Badger soccer team falls in national matches
By Matt Harris
MELBOURNE, FLA.—A historic season for Snow College women’s soccer came to a close as the Lady Badgers were ousted from the NJCAA Division 1 national championship tournament last Tuesday and Wednesday.
Snow fell in both matches against fellow teams in Pool C of the first round of the tournament. They lost their first game to Seminole State, Okla., 1-0, and then fell to Tyler, Texas, 3-2, in their second game. Tyler went on through the tournament and played in the championship game last Saturday after press time. Tyler’s three goals scored on the Badgers was the first time Snow had allowed more than one goal to any team this season.
Much of the Lady Badgers’ contest against Seminole State on Tuesday happened away from the goalposts, but they got plenty of attacks, taking 12 shots to the Lady Trojans’ four. Sophomore defender Kimberly Martinez led with four shot attempts.
The closest of those 12 shots happened in the first half when freshman defender Kate Schirmer got ahead of the defense for a shot on goal, one of six the Lady Badgers took. Schirmer shot low to the right, but Seminole State’s goalkeeper anticipated the shot correctly and dove for a save.
At the 67-minute mark, Seminole State’s forward outran the defense for a shot of her own, barely out of the reach of sophomore goalkeeper Hailey Hillock for the score. That goal was the eventual game-winner for the Lady Trojans.
The following Wednesday, Snow took on Tyler in a match that saw far more offensive fireworks. Snow outshot the Lady Apaches, 14-13, but at an 8-3 disadvantage in shots on goal. Hillock struggled against Tyler’s top-five scoring offense with three goals allowed and five saves.
Snow went behind early in the match when Tyler scored in the first minute, but got back int it when freshman defender Sydney Bushman scored on a penalty kick at the 20-minute mark. Tyler scored again three minutes later to take a 2-1 lead into halftime.
In the 72nd minute, freshman forward Alaina Pestana set up a cross to Schirmer for an assist, and Schirmer buried the goal to tie the game again.
Nine minutes later, Tyler took a cross of their own and scored again, this time not giving up the one-score lead and sending the Lady Badgers home.
Snow finished the season with a 13-4-3 overall record, claimed the Scenic West Athletic Conference title with an upset of Salt Lake Community College, and went to the national tournament for the first time ever.