Photo: Northwest Mississippi Community College women’s soccer team. (Courtesy nwccrangers.com)
Story credit: Northwest CC Sports Information
A 1-0 halftime lead for Northwest Mississippi was erased by a pair of Johnson County (Kansas) goals in the 56th and 70th minutes, as the Lady Rangers dropped a 2-1 stunner to the Cavaliers, ending the program’s run in the NJCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Championship tournament.
Johnson County came out hot from the opening whistle, going on the attack right away and testing the Northwest defense. Despite some close calls, Anna Kathryn Harrell and the Lady Rangers were able to keep the Cavaliers from getting on the scoreboard in the first half.
However, Johnson County remained aggressive from the opening moments of the second half and applying the pressure finally paid off. Less than 10 minutes into the second half, the Cavaliers got a goal off a free kick from Megan Everhart, tying the match at 1-1.
Johnson County remained on the offensive for the next several minutes and in the 70th minute, disaster struck for the Lady Rangers, as Alandra Bailey sent in the go-ahead goal for the Cavaliers. Northwest tried to find a response, but Johnson County didn’t break, ending the season for Northwest.
With the loss, Northwest finished the 2023 campaign with a lot to be proud of, in what was a truly historic season for the Lady Rangers. Northwest finished 21-2 overall, setting the program record for total wins and fewest losses in a single season. The Lady Rangers also finished as co-MACCC champions and claimed their first NJCAA Region 23 title, both firsts in the history of the program.
Additionally, the Lady Rangers also outscored their opponents 115-6 over the course of the season, including many shutouts against nationally-ranked opponents. This was also the second consecutive trip to the NJCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Championship tournament for Northwest.
Several Northwest players will conclude their respective careers in the program’s single-season and career record books. Sophomore Evie Crawford wraps up her Lady Ranger career with 17 assists and 25 goals, good for fourth and fifth in the two career record categories, respectively. The Tupelo native’s 17 assists rank only behind former teammate and current record-holder Jennifer Enriquez (30; 2021-22), and 19 apiece from Gena Gutierrez (2004-05) and Ally Bailey (2019-21).
Crawford also finishes her Northwest career with 67 points, tied for sixth with Gutierrez. Thirty-nine of her points came this season, which ranks ninth in a single season, while her 11 assists rank fifth and her 14 goals have her tied for eighth with teammate Mari Julia Delgado, Bailey (2021) and Lindsey Young (2003).
Fellow sophomore Jadyn Duran will also leave Northwest in the record books, ranking sixth in career assists (14) and 10th in both career points (52) and career goals (19). Starkville native Mia Kate Cade also finishes tied for seventh in single-season assists (9), joining Bailey and Molly Rose, while sophomore goalkeeper Abby Tutor finishes with two shutouts, tied for seventh in a single season and fifth in the career record books.
Two freshmen have also made their mark in both the single-season and career record categories, starting with the aforementioned Delgado. The Trinity, Ala. native is tied for eighth for goals in a single season, while also ranking fourth in assists (14) and sixth in points (42). In the career stats, Delgado is tied with Duran for sixth in assists.
Harrell shattered several records in her first season as goalkeeper. The Tupelo native finished with 18 wins on the season and 17 shutouts posted, both single-season records, while her 17 shutouts are also the most recorded in a career.
Coach James Beattie, who was named last week as the NJCAA Region 23 Coach of the Year, has now amassed a record of 57-13-4 in four complete seasons leading the Lady Rangers’ program. He is the program’s second-winningest coach, trailing only Peter Jarjoura’s record of 75-76-6 from 2002-12.
Wednesday, Nov. 15
NBA G League basketball
Note: Jake LaRavia led Memphis scoring with 31 points.
SPORTS ETC.: Four members of the Lewisburg girls’ soccer team have signed to play college soccer next season. The group includes: Allie Kimbrell (Northwest MS Community College), Bella Moore (Itawamba Community College), Hannah Payne (University of Montevallo), and Stef Scardigno (Blackburn College)
Two members of the Lewisburg softball team also signed for college programs Wednesday, as well. Leah Nevarez signed with Christian Brothers University and Leah Walker will move on to Northeast Mississippi Community College.
Northpoint Christian School quarterback Jack Patterson, considered among the best prep signal callers in the Memphis metro, ended his career last week having broken nine school records with the Trojans. Patterson has committed to play college football at Central Arkansas next season.