The Seminole State College Trojan soccer team started off their season last week with two matches of nationally ranked opponents. The first game against Butler who was ranked 7th and the second game against Navarro who was ranked 11th. SSC was ranked #8 in the NJCAA preseason poll, so the games were nationally recognized as two early season top matchups. The games did not disappoint!
On Augst 20th, Butler came to Seminole in a game where the action was as hot as the weather, a blistering 106 degrees. The Trojans scored early in the game where sophomore Chelsea Vilca drove a ball into the box in the 6th minute of the game and was fouled by a Butler defender. Vilca converted the penalty kick to give the Trojans a 1-0 lead. The Trojans would miss a few chances in the 1st half to extend the lead, and the defense would hold the Grizzlies scoreless going into halftime.
In the second half, Butler would get a goal off a corner kick from Brooke Sullivan to tie the game at 1. A minute later, Trojan freshman Ashley Perez would receive a pass and play a beautiful ball forward to Vilca, who then turned a Grizzlie defender, and buried the shot in the back of the net. Seminole would hold the lead until the Grizzlies tied the game up again in the 84th minute, and the game would end in a 2-2 draw. Seminole State led for 77 minutes in the contest and found some positives moving forward for the rest of the season. Seminole State is 4-0-1 all time against Butler, a long time Kansas conference champion and national tournament participant.
On Friday, the Trojans welcomed the #11 ranked Navarro to Seminole. The contest was back and forth early in the game, until Seminole started to create some very good scoring chances but could not score. Navarro would steal a pass in the 20th minute, and despite many Trojan opportunities, hold the advantage going into half time. The second half started the first 5 minutes with the Trojans pressing forward with no results. Seminole won a corner and as the ball was trying to be cleared by the Bulldogs, Emma Teague stepped forward and hit a right foot banger into the back of the net tying the game at 1 apiece. A few minutes later the Trojans would win another corner, where Chelsea Vilca served a perfect ball to a crashing Megan Gilchrist. Gilchrist with the powerful header gave the trojans the lead at 2-1. 10 minutes after goal #2, Freshman Gabby Torres played a diagonal ball to a streaking Perez who tapped the ball back across goal to a waiting Alex Shatswell. Shatswell would do the rest heading the ball into the back of the net for the 3rd Trojan goal in a 19 minute span.
The game was ended early due to excessive heat and the Trojans would claim the 3-1 victory. Region 2 play starts this week with 2 home games. The first on Wednesday when Connors State comes to Seminole at 2pm. NEO visits Seminole on Sunday.