Council Bluffs, IA – The #3 ranked Iowa Western Reivers scored 5 goals on Friday to capture the NJCAA DI Great Lakes District Title and defeat visiting Western Wyoming CC.
HOW IT HAPPENED: The Reivers got on the board early in the 5th minute through freshman Kauany Sousa. Center back Estefania Cardona played a ball to the top of the penalty box, which drew the Mustang goalkeeper out. Sousa won the foot race, avoided a couple defenders and shot in to the open net from 20 yards out. Sousa struck again 11 minutes later. After a failed Mustang clearance off a Reiver corner kick, Sioux City native, Paola Ochoa, played a ball to the back post for sophomore captain, Veronica Herrera. Herrera settled easily in the six-yard box and laid a ball across the face of the goal for Sousa to finish first time. The half ended 2-0.
After the break, the same Brazilian scoresheet theme continued. Sophomore forward, Alex Boss, played Sousa in behind the Mustang defense in the 55th minute. The Brazilian forward faked a shot in the six-yard box, cutback to the center to avoid a defender and wrong foot the goalkeeper and finished neatly near post. ICCAC Player of the Year, Laura Chavez, found Sousa for her 4th goal of the afternoon in similar fashion. This time Sousa shot first time past the onrushing goalkeeper. The Mustangs were able to solve the Reiver defense in the 83rd minute off a set piece, but sophomore Ashley Overberg restored the 4 goal lead 5 minutes later. Overberg shot from 12 yards out off a pass from Moriah Lucas from the left side. Her shot was blocked, but she smartly passed to Chavez back post after collecting the rebound. Chavez beat the keeper and played a teasing ball across the goal line that Overberg tapped in for the Reivers 5th goal of the match. The score would end 5-1.
NOTES & NUMBERS: With her 4 goals on Friday, Sousa now has 7 goals in the last 2 games to bring her season total to 29. She moves in to 2nd all-time for Most Goals in a Season at Iowa Western. Chavez picked up her 29th assist of the season. Overberg notched her 11th goal of the season and Alex Boss collected her 11th assist. The Reivers qualify for their 9th NJCAA National Tournament, their 6th in 7 years.
QUOTES: Head Coach Adam Sanchez: "The team was ready today. Their focus and their preparation was fantastic this past week and today was proof of that. It was a great team performance! That set the stage for Kauany (Sousa). Stars shine brightest when teammates execute their roles exceptionally well. That was the case today. Everyone performed well and it was highlighted by Kauany's special performance. She was absolutely unplayable and dangerous all game long. Her drive and competitiveness was great to see and it fueled the rest of the team. She was great today.
UP NEXT: The Reivers will travel to Foley, Alabama for the NJCAA National Championship on November 12, 2018. Live video stream can be found at www.njcaatv.com. Match updates can be found on Twitter at @ReiverWSoccer.