Council Bluffs, IA: #15 Iowa Western CC defeated #19 Indian Hills CC 2-1 in the NJCAA Region XI Championship.
How It Happened: Meeting for the third time in the last four years in the region championship, the familiarity between the two squads was apparent in the first half. With both teams feeling eachother out, it was Iowa Western that created the best chances in the first frame. The Reivers, however, were unable to capitaize on their chances and the half ended scoreless.
After the break, Iowa Western got on the board first through sophomore captain Moriah Lucas. Freshman Laura Linares found Lucas on top of the box and the sophomore turned, created space, and smashed a shot from 22 yards out, beating the Warrior goalkeeper. The Warriors responded through a well struck ball of their own. Indian Hill's Emily Murphy was brought down just outside the box by the Reiver defense in the 58th minute. Murphy stepped up and struck the ball over the Reiver wall and over the outstretched arm of goalkeeper Judit Gonzalez and just under the Reiver crossbar.
The Reivers continued to press, creating several quality opportunities to score. It was Lucas that found Linares on a clever run acorss the Warrior backline in the 75th minute. The freshman collected the pass and found herself with a clear look on goal. Linares took a touch and coolly slotted the ball in to the left side of goal. With 15 minutes left in the match, the Reiver defense held strong without allowing the Warriors to generate a shot on goal. The match would end 2-1 as IWCC secured its 7th region championship in the last 9 years.
Notes & Numbers: Iowa Western improves to 13-4-0. The Reivers advance to its second consecutive Great Plains District Championship. Lucas adds to her team-leading goal tally with 11 goals on the season. The Reivers have now won 14 championships in its 16 year history.
Quotes: Coach Adam Sanchez: "It was a great match today. Indian Hills is a quality side and theior only loss was to us back in October. We knew they wanted to avenge that loss. However, I felt the team was excellent today. They played their game and attacked relentlessly. They scored 2 great team goals in the run of play and controlled the tempo and rhythm of the match. They deserve all the credit as they prepared well and came up with another great team performance. They should be super proud of the energy and fight they brought to the match. We are very excited about our match-up next Friday. With this group, it is going to be very entertaining."
Up Next: With the win, the Reivers advance to take on the Region IX winner in the NJCAA Great Plains District Championship on Friday, November 8, 2019. The match can be viewed live at http://goreivers.com/information/reiver-sports-network. Match updates can be found on Twitter at @ReiverWSoccer & @GoReivers.