Northwest soccer has gotten off to a much better start to this year as opposed to where they were a season ago. Despite being left with a 1-2-1 record throughout the first couple of weeks of the season, they have been far more impressive than last year in the eyes of coach Marc Gordon.
In one of the prime instances of how the program has improved, Northwest has already scored more goals in the first four matches than it was able to score all of last season. Gordon emphasized that the attacking of the team is the best it has had since he took over the team in 2018.
“Our team has shown from week to week that they are willing to improve,” Gordon said. “We have players putting in work outside of practices and are showing they want to get better and want to succeed.”
Gordon has a history of success with teams he’s coached in the past. He was the director of soccer and the head women's soccer coach at Ottawa University for eight years until he took over the program at Northwest before the 2018 season.
Gordon is a three-time KCAC Coach of the Year and was the 2016 Regional Coach of the Year, which were all earned under his tenure as coach of the Braves. Gordon said his time at Northwest has been a work in progress so far, but he likes the strides his team has taken from week to week.
The ‘Cats split a win and a loss in its first two home games of the year. The first home game at Bearcat Pitch was a success in Gordon’s eyes as the Bearcats took on the Sioux Falls Cougars.
Freshman midfielder Kaitlyn Case continued to turn heads as she pushed across two goals, bringing her scoring total to four goals on the year.
Sophomore goalkeeper Alexis Serna-Castillo stayed consistent with stout defense at the goal, saving the only four shots on the goal from the Cougars. The Bearcats managed to shut out the Cougars winning 4-0.
“Our team has a lot of confidence in ourselves this season and it builds our confidence even more when we can get a win at home,” Serna-Castillo said.
The Bearcats weren't able to complete the clean sweep of the weekend, losing to the Augustana Vikings. This rally came after the Bearcats surrendered three goals in the first half of the game. They would work out all of the kinks in the first half and hold the Vikings scoreless for the remainder of the game.
The Bearcats made a run on offense late in the match scoring two goals in the 66th and 75th minutes of the game; they were unable to even the game up as time expired. Despite losing 3-2, Gordon and his staff said they were very pleased with his teams fight and willingness to not give up.
Northwest is now preparing for its third home game of the season Sept. 20, against the eighth-ranked team in the nation Central Missouri Mules and will then hit the road to take on one of the Bearcats biggest rivals , the Missourian Western Griffons, Sept. 22. These two matches are marquee matchups for the Bearcats and assistant coach Quaid Curtin believes they will go a long way in seeing how well their team can compete.
“Grit is something that we haven’t had in the program in a long time,” Curtin said. “The team is starting to not only fight for each other but believe in themselves.”