The Red Raider women’s soccer team took on the nationally ranked Hastings Broncos in the last regular season home game of the year, Saturday, Oct. 21. With the Broncos holding an undefeated record in conference, the Lady Raiders were looking to be the first to take them down in what would hope to be the best way to celebrate both Senior Night and Parent Night. Unfortunately, the Raiders were unable to do so.
The game started off evenly matched with neither team taking shots in the first ten minutes. It was only two minutes later when senior Madi Bertman led a pass on to sophomore Nikky Farnsworth who took a crack at the goal and was rewarded kindly with a goal. With a one goal lead, the Raiders had momentum moving forward. However, that momentum would end 30 minutes later when Hastings Heidi Bartsch was able to put one in the back of the net for the Broncos with a mere four seconds left in the first half.
As the Raiders and Broncos went into halftime locked at 1-1, the Broncos had the advantage, not only for the late first half equalizer, but led the Raiders in shots 10 to 6. Senior Naiomi Schimmel had five saves in the first half, working hard to keep the Raiders in the game.
The second half was all about the Broncos. They were able to outshoot the Raiders 11 to 3, as well as put one of those shots in the back of the net in the 78th minute. The Raiders were never able to recover and lost by a final score of 2-1, giving the Raiders their second conference loss of the season.
As the Raiders look ahead to playoffs, the team is excited for the opportunity to make a run in hopes of an opportunity in the national tournament.
“Going into playoffs, we are very confident with how far we have come,” Bertman said. “I think our biggest barrier we need to get over is making sure we find a place where we respect our opponents, but also have confidence in who we are and where we could go, because we are the best women’s team in program history. We would like to prove that to everyone by going to nationals.”
The Raiders’ last regular season match of the year is Saturday, Oct. 28 when they take on the Briar Cliff Chargers in Sioux City.