Raider Soccer Doubles Down
Kenneth Morales, Staff Writer
Both Raider soccer teams had playoff hopes riding on the line with back to back games in back to back days over the weekend. The guys lost their opportunity to secure a playoff berth after they dropped both matches. The women had already secured their spot, however, they stayed the same in conference standings after splitting games.
Both games the men lost were hard fought battles against Carroll College and University of Great Falls. The first game ended 1-2 in which Carroll got off to a fast start in the game, scoring two goals in the first half, but then they bounced back with a goal from freshmen Greg Rapet. The Raiders stepped the defensive intensity up in the second half and went on the attack knowing their season was on the line, but it was not enough.
After losing the first game, the guys came out strong in the second match, despite having their playoff hopes taken from them. It was 1-1 game and the Raiders’ defense which had slipped the night before, returned tighter to limit Great Falls’ offensive opportunities. The match went all the way to a second overtime but was ended when the visitors made a golden goal to end the men’s home double header event.
“It’s tough to have a season end like this because we didn’t accomplish our goal of going to conference playoffs, however, we fought hard and played well. Both teams we played were tough although luck wasn’t on our side, we showed them that we were there to compete until the end,” said Luis Ayala.
The female Raiders struggled in much of the same manner as the men on Friday night. Despite not being able to find the back of the net themselves, they were able to hold the number one team in the conference to only one score at halftime. Things began to slide in the second half, however as Carroll’s only two shots on goal connected to end the match 3-0 in favor of the fighting saints.
Saturday evening was senior night and there couldn’t have been a better night for this magical finish. After coming back from a 1-0 halftime deficit, the women went to overtime and that’s when they took charge. Lauren Aldana wrapped the long weekend of soccer up with 3:31 left in overtime when she received a pass from Megan Smith just right of the box. She took one touch and booted it into the upper left corner for the game winner.
“I’m so glad that I got to finish my last home soccer game with a win,” said senior Jaclyn McQuiston, “We’re really excited to play teams that beat us in the regular season, so we can have the opportunity to beat them and get some much needed revenge!”
This is the sixth consecutive postseason appearance for the Raiders and they will begin play ranked either fifth or sixth on November 11th.