What began as “Sophomore Day” turned into a grand-scale soccer celebration for all as Alliyah Nolan and her Navarro College Women’s Soccer teammates upset third-ranked Tyler, 4-1.
Navarro’s fourth straight victory was, arguably, a signature win for second-year coach Alicia Wilson, who claimed her first coaching victory over Navarro’s chief Region XIV soccer rival in five meetings.
The win avenged a 4-2 loss to TJC under the lights at Pat Hartley Field in Tyler on September 28th.
Navarro snapped Tyler’s winning streaks of eight conference matches and 11 overall. Until the defeat Tyler had been unbeaten in its last 12 matches since a 1-1 tie with Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa on September 10th.
Sophomores Nolan and Deneisha Blackwood, Region XIV’s top two goalmakers, accounted for three first-half goals against the Tyler Ladies and goalkeeper Christina Hendershot.
Hendershot entered the match with a 13-1-1 net minding record with 3 shutouts and had allowed only 11 goals all season.
Nolan wrong-footed Hendershot three minutes into the contest — a quick shot that nestled into the right hand corner of the net for her team-high 23rd goal of the season.
Nolan’s goal prompted an immediate, normal home-crowd reaction, and triggered an unusual, unexpected roar of approval from practicing Navarro football players.
Defensive-unit practice stopped first and players erupted with their support; offensive-unit work instantly broke on the far west field and chimed in with the riffle effect.
It was felt. It was heard.
Blackwood added her 20th and 21st goals with spectacular finishes three minutes apart to send the Tyler Ladies spiraling into a position they hadn’t seen all season by the game’s 25-minute mark.
One of Blackwood’s shots hit the crossbar and referees ruled that it crossed over the goalline on a vertical carom.
Ten minutes into the second half, Tyler averted a shutout, but Navarro countered with a responding goal by freshman Margriet Samsom.
Samsom, from The Netherlands, maneuvered inside from the left wing, ignored a near-impossible angle and thundered a shot high into the right net for her 8th of the season and Navarro’s fourth of the game.
For the final 30 minutes, Navarro continued to play perhaps its best defensive game of the season and kept the Apache Ladies off the scoreboard.