CNCC men’s soccer fights to finish in tie with Utah State University Eastern
After a laundry list of issues on the road, Colorado Northwestern Community College soccer teams were more than happy to be back at home Saturday, even if it wound up being one of their most exhausting set of games.
The CNCC men’s team went into double overtime against Utah State University Eastern, resulting in a 1-1 draw on their own turf in a match that pushed athletes to the brink physically.
The Spartans held the lead for much of the game with a first-half goal by Orlando Garcia, though it was intense defense that kept the Eagles grounded. Though USUE increased their aggression on the attack, Leo Loya was on point in the CNCC box.
It was only a matter of time before Utah State snuck one past Loya as they crashed the goal, yet it wouldn’t happen again, even after dual rounds of OT.
Coach Doug Seigle had mixed feelings about a day that culminated in a tie.
On the one hand, it was a far more positive outcome than the team has had the rest of the month, with the start of Scenic West Athletic Conference play seeing the Spartans fall 11-2 to Truckee Meadows Community College on Sept. 12 and 10-0 two days later at Salt Lake Community College.
The hard luck continued earlier in the week when mechanical issues with the team prevented CNCC squads from games in Sterling versus Northeastern Junior College, which have yet to be rescheduled.
Still, a W against the Eagles was one he felt the players deserved, adding that bleachers packed with invested fans Saturday was just how he had envisioned home games.
“I’m proud of the way we finished the game, but we’ve just gotta let ourselves get that win,” he said.
With a 1-0 victory over Western Wyoming to start the season — the first competitive win ever for CNCC soccer — Seigle has higher expectations at this point.
“Mature-wise, we’re not quite there, we tend to hang our heads down when things aren’t going well, and that really costs us,” he said.
For the women’s team, a 12-0 defeat to Truckee Meadows and a 20-0 blowout by SLCC have been difficult for them to bounce back, though the Saturday game went a little better.
The final score against the Eagles was 11-0 after a 5-0 first half, though it was a barrage of scoring by Utah State in the final 20 minutes that concerned coach Kyle Kazemi.
“We’ve encountered that before,” he said. “When a score is so lopsided, they take a look at the scoreboard and think, ‘this is not a contest now’ and it can lull you to sleep.”
Kazemi said he was less concerned with the win than with players giving up entirely.
“Those first 40 minutes are fun, we just need to keep up the energy like that for the last 10,” he said.
Adding to the woes Saturday, a miscommunication with game officials led to a two-hour wait time, which meant the women’s game didn’t start until the late afternoon.
Kazemi even had to stand in for referee duties for part of the men’s game, one which he admitted was a little tricky to stay impartial.
“That one was competitive on both sides, and you get caught up in it, but I’m glad to be part of it like that,” he said.
CNCC teams next host Snow College Thursday, Sept. 26 with games beginning at 1 p.m. at Loudy-Simpson Park.