By Adam Roseberry
The Northeast Texas Community College Lady Eagles soccer team took two tough losses to begin their season last week, falling to the Navarro Bulldogs and the LSU-Bengals in the first two home games of the 2022 campaign.
Despite the setbacks to begin the year, NTCC Head Coach Heather Brady has lofty aspirations for her team this season.
“We’ve been building for the past few years,” Brady said. “We got something special I think this year.”
On Saturday afternoon, Navarro began the game with a quick start, taking a 2-0 lead with goals in the 15th and 25th minute. The Eagles managed to draw within one in the 62nd minute off a penalty kick from midfielder Osiris Duarte, but the Bulldogs quelled the resistance with game-icing goals in the 81st and 82nd minute and finished the game on top by a margin of 4-1.
Adding insult to injury was the fact that the loss was the second of the new season for the Eagles. Three days earlier the Eagles had held a seemingly insurmountable 2-1 lead over the LSU-Eunice Bengals with mere minutes left in the contest.
Fifteen minutes and two LSU-Eunice goals later, the Eagles walked off the pitch on the short end of the scoreboard.
The start of the match was all that the Eagles could have hoped for as they roared out to an early 2-0 lead behind goals from midfielder Erika Trivino and midfielder Katelyn Leal, in the 11th and 15th minutes respectively.
LSU-Eunice’s Lucia Lorenzo-Parga managed to score for the Bengals in the 30th minute to cut the Eagles lead down to one. The score remained unchanged from that point until the end of the contest.
As the game entered the 60th minute after the start of the second half, Eagles starting goalkeeper Naphtaline Clermeus went down with an apparent head injury and did not return to the game.
Clermeus was the only goalkeeper listed on NTCC’s roster. Brady turned to starting forward Lakin Pennington to take over inside the goal.
“She [Pennington] stepped up for us and went back in goal,” Brady said. “Even though we didn’t come out with the win she made some great saves and stepped up for us as a teammate and we love to see that.”
For the next 26 minutes the Eagles managed to stave off the Bengals, but in the 86th minute Lorenzo-Parga found the back of the net for her second goal of the day and evened the score. Two minutes later in the 88th minute LSU-Eunice forward Isabelle Smith scored the go-ahead goal and put the Bengals up for good.
Despite the disappointing loss, Brady remained optimistic
“Honestly, we played through adversity. We had to put a field player inside the goal,” Brady said. “I’m gonna focus on the positive things from this match.”
The Lady Eagles will hit the road for their next few games, before returning home on September 17 to face the Jacksonville College Jaguars.
For more information about the Lady Eagle Soccer team, visit the official NTCC athletics website at ntcceagles.com.