The Northwest Kansas Technical College men's soccer team fell to Laramie County Community College 3-2 in overtime of their season opener.
The match was back and forth, with the Eagles striking first in the 11th minute with a goal from Tristan White. The Mavericks had a chance in the 20th minute from Ernie Almodovar-Garcia that hit the cross bar, and equalized in the 41st minute from a rocket free kick from Kevin Foster just outside the 18-yard box.
The score was 1-1 at the half. Both teams created several opportunities in the second half. Northwest Tech goalkeeper Jordan Worth made 13 saves in the contest in what was a frantic second 45 minutes.
LCCC regained the lead when Rafael Munoz scored for the Eagles in the 86th minute. The Mavericks urgently lofted a free kick forward into the box, LCCC cleared the ball only as far as freshman midfielder Paddy Cichosz, who shot the ball towards the goal but it struck the arm of a sliding LCCC defender in the box.
Cichosz stepped up to the spot in the 88th minute and converted an equalizing penalty, his first-career Northwest Tech goal. And the 90th minute whistle shortly followed.
In overtime, the Mavericks unfortunately surrendered a quick goal to Munoz and the Eagles captured the result.
"It was a great atmosphere and a good team effort," head coach Danny Main said postgame. "We played well for 80 minutes, but we still have to work on getting other players healthy and available until we are fully match fit."
"We have a ton of respect for Laramie County, and they beat us pretty bad last season. For us to respond with two equalizers and to still take one of the best teams in Region IX to extra time was a big positive. We just have to get off to a faster start and get the rest of our roster healthy."
The Mavs were unable to dress six players due to preseason injuries, many of which should be available this week.
Next up for Northwest Tech soccer is a home double-header Aug. 30th against Northeastern Junior College from Region IX. The Lady Mavericks open up their season at 3pm MT with the men's game to follow at 5pm MT. Both games are at Lutters Field in Goodland.