Arthur Named Coach of the Year
Western Nevada Community College's women's soccer team capped their second season off with a dramatic 1-0 overtime victory over North Idaho College in Coeur D'Alene to capture the Scenic West Athletic Conference Region XVIII Championship. With the win, the Wildcats advanced to the National Junior College Athletic Association playoffs, where they lost 1-0 to the No. 4 ranked team in the nation.
"Winning the championship was one of our goals at the start of the season," said Head Coach Hillary Arthur, who was named the conference's Coach of the Year.
The Wildcats played 16 of their 21 games on the road, many in extreme weather conditions. They also overcame the loss of two key players during the season: Christina Bradshaw left the team for personal reasons and Dominique Gloude went down with a season-ending injury at the midway point.
Other players stepped up in their absence including Hannah Lee, Courtney Lenhart, Jessica Maule, and Meghan Olsen, who were all named to the SWAC All-Region Team. "We overcame some adversity and have something to build on next year," added Arthur.
Western opened their second season on August 27 against Feather River College and hit the ground running with a 5-1 victory. The Wildcats returned home to face Cochise College on September 1 and battled to a scoreless tie. Another scoreless tie followed on September 7 in another defensive battle against Shasta College.
WNCC then traveled to Eureka, Calif., for a September 8 contest against the College of the Redwoods. The Wildcats won 4-0 to bring their record to 2-0-2.
Western then lost two contests in Arizona 5-0 to Paradise Valley Community College on September 12 and 1-0 to Cochise College on September 13. The Wildcats came storming back at home, however, with a 5-0 win over Colorado Mountain College on September 16.
The low point in the season then came as WNCC lost three in a row on the road and failed to score a goal in each contest. They lost 4-0 to Sierra College on September 19, 2-0 to North Idaho College on September 22, and 1-0 to Northwest Christian College on September 23.
The Wildcats regrouped as they returned home for two games. They beat Salt Lake Community College 4-2 on September 29 behind Courtney Lenhart's two goals, and beat Snow College by forfeit on September 30. WNCC continued their winning streak on October 3 with a 4-1 victory over Butte College in Oroville, Calif.
Western then came back down to earth with three straight losses. They lost 3-2 at home to North Idaho College on October 7, 4-1 to Feather River College on October 11, and 1-0 to Salt Lake Community College on October 13.
The Wildcats finished out the regular season strong with two shutout wins and a forfeit loss. They defeated Snow College 8-0 on October 14, Colorado Mountain College 13-0 on October 20, and won by forfeit against Auraria Football College on October 21.
WNCC qualified for the Region 18 Tournament for the second year in a row. On October 28, they faced off against North Idaho College, who had beaten them twice in the regular season. The teams played evenly, as the contest was tied throughout regulation play. Western's Hannah Lee came through with the biggest goal in WNCC history in overtime to clinch the championship for WNCC.
The win advanced Western to the NJCAA Playoffs in Overland Park, Kan. WNCC lost a close 1-0 game on November 3 to the fourth-ranked team in the nation, Laramie County. "We were a little down after the loss," said Arthur. "However, we should keep our heads up and our eyes on the big picture after such a great second year."
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