Central hosts top-ranked Western

Sophomore Mackenzie Nolte concentrates on footwork.

Brittany Allen/Observer

Sophomore Mackenzie Nolte concentrates on footwork.

Samuel Beaumonte, Staff Reporter

After taking a 2-1 loss in overtime at the hands of Western Washington University (WWU), the second ranked team in Division II women’s soccer, last week in Bellingham, Wash., Central is looking to sink the Vikings in a home rematch

“For me, I feel like our performance in our games have been a good breakthrough for the team,” sophomore forward Mackenzie Nolte said. “It was a close game with two very good teams going against each other.”

The Wildcats `were able to take away a few things from the loss.

“I feel that we played to the best of our abilities that game. It was the best of the year for a complete game,” head coach Michael Farrand said. “We’ve gone week to week to prepare for whatever situation we’re in. Overall, I feel that the Western game shows us how we should play.”

The Wildcats were the first team of the season to bring WWU, undefeated in conference play, into overtime. The Wildcats had expected a good fight.

“The Western game had a good intensity, we were mentally prepared for a tough game,” senior goalkeeper Sydney Williams said.

WWU enters the rematch with a 6-0 conference record, giving the Wildcats an opportunity to hand WWU their first conference game loss of the season.

On Oct. 10, the Wildcats beat Saint Martin’s University (SMU) at home 3-0, bringing their conference record to 2-4.

“It’s a great morale booster going into our next game,” Williams said.

Even though the team managed to keep SMU from scoring during the game, the Wildcats recognize that it was a hard-fought battle and that there was something to take away from it.

“We could see what we needed to work on as we played,” Nolte said. “It showed us that we need to go in with the same mentality. We have to use that same intensity that we have with Western in every game going forward. We need to have that same winning mental state.”

So far this season, Central’s women’s soccer team has won every home game. Some players believe that the crowd can be a huge help to the team’s performance.

“Having the students, the staff and the other student athletes to come out to support us is amazing,” Williams said. “They’re taking time out of their schedules to come cheer us on.”

The crowd also instills a different type of motivation.

“You don’t want to lose in front of your school,” Nolte said. “It’s a pride thing, and you don’t want to be known as the player that messed up.”

Farrand will be looking for a big crowd against WWU.

“It would be a great day to get a good crowd out here,” Farrand said. “Beating Western in anything is always a good thing to see. We’ve had great crowds all year round, and it’d be nice to have everyone come out here to enjoy the day with us and watch us take care of Western.”