Aug. 30, 2018, Sterling, Colo. – The first game of the season is always nerve racking for players and coaches alike – so much work goes into the preseason and everyone is hopeful it translates seamlessly into gameplay. From vigorous two-a-days to classroom film sessions, all the hard work would either shine or be exposed once the teams hit the pitch.
The Plainswomen opened their season in a game against the Garden City Broncbusters. With both teams not knowing what to expect from their opponents, they had to rely on playing their ball and trying to force each other to make mistakes. Additionally, being able to react and overcome would be another facet of the game that would determine success.
Although the wind would play a factor in the first half, as it was a direct headwind, the Plainswomen battled adversity and played aggressively. The first goal came when Northeastern broke the ice in the 5th minute as Jaycie Dillenburg scored from a pass from Sedar Thacker. It wasn't too long after her first goal when Dillenburg followed it up with another by putting it in after Macy Gurule would beat two defenders. With the game now being 2-0, the Broncbusters doubled the Northeastern attackers any chance they had, forcing the Plainswomen to play balls over the top more than usual. With the pressure on, GCCC got one back in the 10th minute to bring it within one. With time ticking away in the first, Dillenburg got her third of the game when the Broncbusters failed to clear the ball and Dillenburg capitalized.
In the second half, the Plainswomen had the wind on their side and tried to use that to their advantage both offensively and defensively. Before they could execute any new plans, Garden City scored in the 45th minute to make it a 3-2 game. With that mishap out of their system, it was time for the Plainswomen to roll. In the 68th minute, Jaycie Dillenburg got yet another goal as Sedar Thacker tossed it into her, then volleyed it in from 25 yards out. Although the Plainswomen had a healthy 4-2 lead, they did not want to let up because in college soccer, anything could happen. With five minutes remaining in the game, Serenity Sanford got her first collegiate goal as Jaycie Dillenburg got the assist.
Nohelia Pena had a great first collegiate start in goal as she made 10 saves off 12 shots on goal.