The Laramie County Community College women’s soccer team saw their immaculate season end on Monday afternoon in their second game of pool play at the NJCAA National Championships against Eastern Florida State College, falling 4-0.
The match was a defensive affair for much of the first half until the scoring seal was broken by a penalty kick goal from Eastern Florida College in the 30th minute to give the Titans a 1-0 edge.
The Titans picked up another goal in the 44th minute on a rebound to put the Golden Eagles into a 2-0 hole at halftime.
The Golden Eagles continued to struggle to find possession time with the ball in the early second half and Eastern Florida tacked on another goal from a deep ball into the box in the 61st minute and again in the 69th minute to go up 4-0.
Head Coach Jim Gardner said the team played much better than the final score indicated.
“We played much better today. We were just unlucky and couldn’t finish our chances,” he said. “We missed three breakaways and some great chances on our corners. They are a better team overall, but I thought we played very dangerous.”
Laramie County was never able to build a consistent offensive attack and was limited to just four shots on goal compared to 13 shots on goal from the Titans. LCCC goalie Kiara Kershaw made eight saves for the Golden Eagles.
In the final few minutes, Gardner said he emptied his bench and was able to get all of the sophomores and anyone else who traveled onto the field.
“It was fun to see all the sophomores on the field and they all came out and played really hard.”
The team was one of the best supported at the tournament, with 12 families making the trip to watch and Gardner said made for more memorable moments.
“Our group is very vocal and they’ve been recognized as being fun by other groups so that was really neat to see so much support,” he said. “It’s the most I’ve ever had at a tournament fly out so that’s a pretty cool thing.”
The loss ends the season for LCCC with a 11-9-1 record, but the Golden Eagles finished the season on an 11-3-1 streak including upsetting second ranked Seminole State College in the West Plains District Championship to qualify for the national championships.
“From where we started to where we went, I didn’t think we’d be here,” Gardner said of the seasons final run. “No one likes to lose, but you win a regional championship, a district championship, and you beat the number two team in the country, I think there’s a lot to stand up for, for what they have done and how well they’ve behaved. They are just such a good group.”