Saturday, the Hastings College women’s soccer team wrapped up the regular season with a 2-0 victory over Northwestern, clinching the No. 2 seed in the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament. And just five days later, the Broncos and the Red Raiders squared off again, this time in the quarterfinals of the GPAC tourney.
Hastings College had its offense running well on Thursday, scoring three goals in the first half and putting Northwestern away with two more in the second half, leading to a 5-1 victory.
“We made a few adjustments, but also just playing on our home field was a huge factor. They have a grass field and we have a huge, turf field, so that really played to our advantage,” said Hastings head coach Alex Piekarski. “The last few games, we have not been putting enough shots on target. We’ve been getting a lot of opportunities but have not been putting the shots on target. We did a really good job of putting shots on target (Thursday).”
In the first matchup between the two teams, the Broncos out-shot the Red Raiders 15-1. Hastings gave up a few more shots on Thursday (six), but it totaled 30 attempts with 19 of those being on goal. HC even had 15 corner kicks, scoring on three of them.
One of those corners that led to a goal came in the first 8 minutes of the match. Taren Newman delivered a perfect ball into the box for Courtney Doeschot, who headed it in for a 1-0 lead.
The Broncos tacked on goal number two in the 17th minute, when Abby Morillon made a few moves to lose her defender inside the box before delivering a strike into the back of the net. The goal gave HC a 2-0 lead, but that only lasted for 2 minutes, as Nikky Farnsworth cut the deficit in half.
“Northwestern was a tricky matchup for us because we had just played them in our final regular season game, and their style of play is a little bit unique but effective,” Piekarski said. “We did a really good job of making adjustments in the game to negate their attack after we gave up that goal. Giving up that goal was unfortunate, but after that we really clamped down and did not give them any more good opportunities.”
Hastings had a few more opportunities after allowing the goal, but it wasn’t until the 38th minute when they found the back of the net again, on another corner kick. This time, it was Kaylie Agostine heading the ball in on an assist from Josie Knapp.
Piekarski said his team locked down defensively after giving up the goal. Northwestern had a few more shots on goal, but Sarah Carpenter was able to stop them, tallying five saves on the night. The Broncos’ coach said his goalkeeper communicated well with defenders Knapp and Laurie Potvin to make things tough on the Red Raiders.
Potvin scored HC’s fourth goal of the night in the 63rd minute. Knapp sent a corner kick into the box where both teams were scuffling for it, but it was Potvin that got the final kick, sending it to the back of the net.
Knapp delivered her second assist of the night when she crossed a beautiful pass just past the outstretched arms of the goalkeeper and off the head of Carolyn Hopkins, as the ball sailed into the goal for a 5-1 lead.
The Broncos advance to the semifinals, where they’ll host the University of Jamestown, which won 4-0 on Thursday. HC beat the Jimmies 5-1 earlier this season.
“Jamestown finished third in the conference and we beat them decisively early in the year, but that game was closer than the score reflected. We have a tall order in front of us on Tuesday,” the HC coach said. “Jamestown is absolutely a quality team and we’re looking forward to the challenge. They’re a well coached team and going to come out hungry to play. We’re looking forward to it.”