The Gillette College women’s soccer team faced its sister school, Sheridan College, on Saturday at Pronghorn Field for their final regular season game.
The Pronghorns (13-2 overall, 9-1 Region IX) scored their first program win over the Generals (6-6, 6-4), rolling to a 3-0 victory and their eighth straight win headed into the region playoffs.
“That game, I’d chalk up as a 90-minute team performance,” Gillette coach Nate Ulness said, adding his team “moved the ball so well today. It was a lot of fun to watch and be a part of.”
With 22:09 to play in the first half, Pronghorns midfielder Liliana Hernandez scored from the left side of the net off of a pass from Kelsey Hogan to give the Pronghorns a 1-0 lead. Her goal turned out to be the only one the Pronghorns needed.
“I came out very confident and I just felt ready today,” said Hernandez, who scored her fifth goal of the season on the play. “That confidence helped me to play my game and (not) let anything bother me.”
Late in the first half, Hernandez shot from about 40 yards out and hit the crossbar straight on. The ball bounced straight off and in front of the Generals’ goalie, and Gillette forward Jaycie Greene pounced on the ball. She shot it into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead with 3:55 to play in the first half.
After back-and-forth play for much of the second half, the Generals couldn’t find any comeback goals and Greene sealed the game with her second goal at 6:49 left to play. Pronghorns defender Sarah Williams tallied the assist.
“It was such a big game with them being our rivals and all. But I think the minute that we stepped on the field to start warming up we just put everything aside,” said Greene, who leads the team with 18 goals this season. “We just had that focus and that drive of like, ‘Hey, it’s just another game.’”
The Pronghorns will have the No. 2 seed in the Region IX playoffs with their 9-1 region record. The only team with a better region record is Laramie County Community College (LCCC), which is undefeated this season and the only team in the region to beat Gillette.
For Gillette, 2019 has been its best statistical season and the team nearly doubled its record number of regular season wins with 13. The Pronghorns won seven regular season games in each of the last two seasons.
“Personally, I always feel like we can do better. We can always train harder. We can always fix little touches, little things,” Greene said. “Now, since we are at that level and we’re doing so well, those (touches) are going to make the difference as we go on.”