After a delayed start to their inaugural seasons because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Casper College men’s and women’s soccer teams have found success on the pitch. Heading into Wednesday’s home matches against Western Nebraska Community College, both Thunderbirds’ squads have winning records, highlighted by the men’s team 6-1-0 mark that has it at No. 15 in the latest NJCAA rankings.
The men’s team is unbeaten since a 3-2 loss at Northwest College on April 7 in its Region IX opener. The T-Birds followed that loss with a 3-2 overtime victory at No. 13 Laramie County Community College, back-to-back shutouts of Northeastern Junior College and Trinidad State Junior College and Saturday’s 4-3 win at Otero Junior College to improve to 4-1-0 in Region IX play.
The T-Birds’ roster has an international flavor, with players hailing from 14 countries, as well as a local feel with seven players from the Cowboy State. Freshman Jesper Van Halderen (Netherlands) leads the team with four goals and Danny Diaz (Casper) has a team-best three assists. Goalkeepers Konnor Macy (Worland) and Matteo Conci (Italy) have three wins apiece.
The women’s team, meanwhile, snapped a four-match winless streak with a 3-0 shutout of Otero JC in which freshman Sydney Hiatt recorded the program’s first hat trick. With nine goals on the season Hiatt is tied for the sixth-most in the nation.
The T-Birds (3-2-3) have also gotten stellar work in between the pipes from sophomore Karla Gaytan (Worland), who has four shutouts and has allowed just six goals on the season.
Wednesday’s women’s game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at the North Casper Soccer Complex, followed by the men’s game at 3:30 p.m.
Follow sports editor Jack Nowlin on Twitter @CASJackN