CHEYENNE – Throughout the season, Laramie County Community College women’s soccer coach Nate Ulness has emphasized that his team needs to play its best for the complete 90 minutes of the game.
The No. 14-ranked Eagles were the closest they’ve gotten to reaching that goal Saturday. It allowed them to pick up a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over No. 19 Casper College.
“We’re almost there. We played about 70 (minutes) today, 80 minutes you could argue. I thought it was really good,” Ulness said. “The second half, I was really proud of that effort. That was a full 45 from them there and they got after it and busted their butts and got what they deserved on that.”
Both of LCCC’s scores came in that second half. After Casper took the lead on a Grace Conner score in the 37th minute, LCCC freshman Sophie Osmon knotted the score just two minutes into the second half. Osmon received a cross from Ainsley Basich, beat her defender and saw herself one-on-one with Casper goalie Rebecca Swain.
It completely changed the flow of the game and LCCC continued to move the ball through the Casper defense and get off shots while building off its newfound energy.
“Obviously we went down one goal in the first half but it was a team effort to come back and get two goals,” Osmon said. “I genuinely think it was just a team effort.”
Added Ulness, “We talked about it before the game and we talked about it at halftime, too – is just getting out and being great and putting in hard work and hard minutes. Even if its five minutes at a time, that’s all it takes, we just have to have that energy and we have to get after it and we have to play hard.”
Osmon had another look in the 57th near the exact same spot she netted her goal but it was punched out by Swain. That led to back-to-back corner kicks for LCCC, but it couldn’t convert on the opportunities.
But Jenaya Brown converted on the next best opportunity that presented itself for the Eagles. In the 77th, Casper was called for a foul near 30 yards away from the goal on the right of the box. Brown lined up for the free kick and it dropped into the back of the net for the go-ahead goal right before clearing the top crossbar and the Eagles (11-2-2 overall, 5-2-1 Region IX) avenged its first loss of the season.
Facing a deficit and some adversity, LCCC rallied together and pulled out a win, showing its growth since that loss.
“Last time we went and played Casper, we unfortunately lost,” Osmon said. “Today showed how we’ve grown as a team, because at the start of the season we weren’t as connected. But that’s come over time and it showed that’s where we are as a team now.”
LCCC hosts Central Wyoming College at 2:30 p.m. Monday for its final regular-season game.
LCCC 2, CASPER 1
Halftime: Casper 1-0
Goals: Casper, Conner (unassisted), 37. LCCC, Osman (Basich), 47. LCCC, Brown (unassisted), 77.
Shots: CC 4, LCCC 8. Shots on goal: CC 6, LCCC 8. Saves: CC 6 (Swain); LCCC 5 (Ewing).
Corner kicks: CC 1, LCCC 7. Offsides: CC 0, LCCC 1. Fouls: CC 4, LCCC 0.