Rangers Finish with a 3-2 Win Over New Mexico Highland’s Cowgirls
Despite a slow start for both teams, the Rangers managed a 3-2 win over RMAC Conference opponent New Mexico Highland University Cowgirls.
The Ranger offense struck again in the 40th minute of play. Cowgirl goalkeeper Amanda Rose Johnson blocked a corner kick from going into the goal. The ball bounced off her touch to the pack of feet in front of the goal. Kendal Kagawa stepped up for the Rangers to finish off the loose ball with a goal.
Highlands scored their first goal in the second half at the 47 minute mark. Forward Janelle McGee passed the ball to forward Julissa Rodriguez. The ball came to Rodriguez from the outside right. Rodriguez then beat the Ranger defense for a through line to the goal. She scored in the upper left corner of the net.
The Ranger defense stepped up on a few Cowgirl opportunities where they were open to score. One came from a corner kick, which midfielder Britny Cottrell missed just to the right after being put under Ranger defensive pressure.
Head coach J.B. Belzer remarked, "We spoke about it at half time to absorb the early pressure, but we didn't do it and they made us pay for it. It was game on from there. We had to battle for the next 45 minutes to finish it off with the win.
Rinehart commented, "We played really well as a team. We never backed down, even when we got scored on. Our defense, our mids, and our fowards did really solid today."
With the score 2-1 in the second and the Cowgirls fighting for the even goal, the Rangers offense took control in the 86th minute when forward Jordan Miller passed to forward Meghan Stuart who fought past NMHU defenders for a shot through Johnson in the right side of the net for the third Ranger goal of the game.
Cowgirls did not lie down easily for the Ranger women however, as forward Marci Johnson dribbled into view of the goal and took a rip from beyond the 18 yard box over the reach of Nicole Eddings for the final goal of the game.
On the win, Belzer commented, "It's a very difficult task when you play a team that has not played on a Friday and you have to go out and play and our girls handled that situation very well today by getting the first goal and adding another to it right before the interval to give us a little breathing room which we obviously needed." He continued with "here are some things we have to get better at in turns of locking things down, but the creativity and flare was there and we created the chances. Efficiency can improve, but on balance, when you walk out 3-2 winners against the talented New Mexico Highlands side, you take the result and move forward in conference play and try to reach back to the top."
The women will host Adams State University Friday, September 30th at 1:30 PM.