Alva Review-Courier -

Ranger soccer comes up short in season opener


September 2, 2018

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Northwestern Oklahoma State University women’s soccer opened the 2018 season Friday with a tough 2-1 loss to the Rogers State University Hillcats (1-0, 0-0 Heartland) on the road. Yazmin Gomez scored late for the Rangers (0-1, 0-0 GAC) to tie the game, but a Hillcat goal in the 84th minute spoiled the party.

Under first-year head coach James Ross, the new-look Rangers battled a strong Heartland Conference opponent in a scoreless opening half as they held RSU to just one shot on goal in the frame. Northwestern’s Alyssa Nunez gave the Red and Black a scoring chance in the dying seconds of the opening period, but her shot was stopped by Hillcat keeper Taylor Sargent.

Rogers State would finally break the tie in the 63rd minute when Maggie Brown beat Ranger goalie Reagan Allen on the left side to give the Hillcats a 1-0 lead. Allen would be busy all night as she faced 15 shots (eight on goal) and made six saves.

Originally scheduled for Thursday night in Alva, the much-anticipated season opener had to be pushed back to Friday and moved to Claremore due to unplayable field conditions.

After a few empty possessions down the stretch, Northwestern continued to grind. The hard work paid off in the 81st minute when Gomez found the back of the net to tie the game 1-1. The goal scored by the junior midfielder out of Westminster, California, was her first of the season and her eighth in a Ranger uniform.

But just under three minutes later, RSU answered back with a heartbreaking goal off a deflection to give the Hillcats a 2-1 advantage in the 84th minute and handing Northwestern a 2-1 loss.

The Rangers will have a chance to put Friday’s loss behind them with the quick turnaround as they host Northeastern State University in a 6 p.m. showdown Saturday, Sept. 1, at the Alva Rec Complex.


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