The Western Nevada Community College women's soccer team opened home play Friday with a physical contest against Cochise College of Arizona that ended in a double-overtime 0-0 tie, but left both teams wounded by the battle. The game proved costly for the Wildcats as standout players Melissa Goldfin and Dominique Gloude left with injuries.
The Wildcats started strong and Savannah Gray found an early scoring opportunity after a cross-field feed from sweeper Virginia Loyola. Cochise responded with a potential scoring feed from Helena Appiagyei, who was a force for the Cats to contend with all day long. Gray also had a late opportunity to score at the 42-minute mark, one of four shots she launched on the day.
Intensity mounted in the second half as the game became even more physical. An early collision between Western's Phalon Mauntel and Cochise's Cynthia Salazar at the 49th minute set the tone. Soon afterward, Loyola went down but was able to return to the game. At the 53rd minute, midfielder Goldfin went down with an ankle injury.
Western's best scoring chance of the half came at the 62-minute mark when Mauntel's right angle corner shot was blocked by defender Yazmin Samayoa after the Lady Apaches goaltender was caught out of position. In all, the Wildcats had 10 shots on goal.
On the defensive end, Western goalkeeper Allie Otto shone in the second half, thwarting several chances by Appiagyei at the 69th and 73rd minutes. Western's best chance to score in the half came from Christina Bradshaw who outworked defender Hannah McEwan and put on a quality shot. Gray also found herself open in front of
the net at the 85-minute mark, but her shot sailed wide left. At the 88th minute, Cochise's Adrienne Hall snuck in to the left side of the defenders but her shot was snuffed by Otto, who tallied nine saves for WNCC.
During the first overtime period, the teams traded scoring opportunities and Western dodged a bullet when an errant ball bounced off defender Meghan Olsen and just missed the goal.
In the second overtime, star sweeper Gloude, who had battled nonstop with Appiagyei throughout the game, went down with a leg injury in the 104th minute after a collision.
The Wildcats, 1-0-1, will travel to Redding, Calif., to face Shasta College Thursday at 4 p.m. and then to Eureka, Calif., to face the College of the Redwoods Friday at 7 p.m.
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