Photo: Yaritza Trejo (seen here earlier this season) netted her first career goal in Tuesday’s 2-0 win at #17 Copiah-Lincoln. (Brian Lentz/nwccrangers.com)
It took until midway through the second half to finally break a scoreless drought, but goals from Caroline Chandler and Yaritza Trejo helped lift No. 1 Northwest to another conference win on Tuesday afternoon.
Northwest defeated No. 17 Copiah-Lincoln, 2-0, as the Lady Rangers recorded their fifth win against a nationally-ranked opponent. The win also helped Northwest improve to 9-0 in the MACCC and 16-0 overall, setting a new program record for wins in a single season.
With the win, Northwest also posted its 15th shutout of the season, leading all other NJCAA Division II programs. The Lady Rangers also recorded their 99th and 100th goals in the victory, a total that currently tops the MACCC and ranks third, only behind Rock Valley (108) and Iowa Central (102).
Both teams lived up to their ranked potential in the first half, with Copiah-Lincoln applying pressure on the Lady Rangers’ defense. Despite being held scoreless however, the Northwest offense did the same to the Lady Wolves, making goalkeeper Lara Dorfel earn double-digit saves.
Northwest and Copiah-Lincoln kept battling through the second half and midway through, the Lady Rangers finally connected. Alexandria “Penny” Warner fed a ball to the front of the net and Chandler provided the finishing touches, helping Northwest earn the 1-0 lead.
Though the Lady Wolves remained well within striking distance, the Lady Rangers’ back unit never broke, denying Copiah-Lincoln at every opportunity. With less than three minutes remaining in the match, Trejo helped ice the win for good, netting her first goal of the season and stretching the Northwest lead to its final point.
Reigning MACCC Goalkeeper of the Week Anna Kathryn Harrell was once again unblemished, posting her 13th career shutout, setting the Lady Rangers’ new career record.
With the win, Northwest turns its attention to yet another huge match on Friday, as the Lady Rangers battle fourth-ranked Jones College in the 2023 regular season home finale. Though Northwest has clinched a playoff spot, Friday’s match with the Lady Bobcats (12-0, 9-0 MACCC) will likely decide which team earns the top seed and hosting role in the upcoming NJCAA Region 23/Gulf District Tournament.
Last season, Northwest and Jones College met twice, with the Lady Rangers scoring a 1-0 victory in the NJCAA Region 23/Gulf District semifinals, avenging a regular-season loss.
Kickoff for Friday’s clash is set for 1 P.M., with live coverage available on Ranger TV.