Gering and Scottsbluff compete in GNAC soccer tournament
     2015-04-16      By Philip Eckerberg   
Photos courtesy of Diana Martin - The Bulldog and Bearcat boys and girls travelled to the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference (GNAC) in Lexington last Friday for a two-day tournament with mixed results. This photo: Gering’s Sydney Heimbouch tries to take control from Bearcat Devaney Halley (No. 15) while teammate Bulldog Zoe Van Dyke (No. 6) looks on.  
The Gering Lady Bulldogs brought home the lone win for Gering in the Greater Nebraska Athletic (GNAC) tournament in Lexington over the weekend. Coach Lisa Freeburg said it was an exciting tournament because of the presence of teams they don’t normally play. “It gives us the opportunity to play some class A team,” she said. “I thought the girls did a really nice job this weekend. We set some small goals before the first game and we achieved them. We were a little disappointed on our second game. We finished strong against Scottsbluff.”

Tournament action started for the girls on Friday against the Columbus Discoverers, who proved to be a tough opponent at they defeated the Lady Bulldogs 5-0. The girls also fell to Lexington 3-0. The girls then took on their cross town rival Scottsbluff for the final game chance at a win, clenching victory over the Cats 1-0 and earning seventh place in the tourney. A lone goal was scored by Abby Kiesel. Gering girls are now 3-8 on the season. Their next game is Thursday on a road trip to Newcastle, Wyo.
The boys’ GNAC action was similar to the girls.’ The Bulldogs played Columbus on Friday and fell 5-0 to a great team in the Discoverers. On Saturday Gering took on the Hastings Tigers but came up short again with a 4-0 loss. Gering finished the tournament with a final loss of 3-0 to Scottsbluff. The boys are now 1-10 on the season. The Bulldogs hit the road to Newcastle, Wyo. on Thursday to take on the Dogies.

Scottsbluff boys opened the tournament with a shootout loss against Norfolk. The game was tied at 0 at the end of regulation and Norfolk came out 1 point ahead. On Saturday Scottsbluff lost to North Platte 4-1. Sophomore TJ Albright scored Scottsbluff’s only goal. Scottsbluff played Gering in the final game of the tournament, winning 3-0. Patrick Madden scored two goals and Owen Parra scored one.
Scottsbluff Coach Nate Rock said he felt the weekend games were hit and miss. “I felt we played a really good game against Norfolk, who ended up winning after a shootout. I thought that could have gone either way.” he said, “We had our chances. We did not play very good against North Platte. We played ok against Gering.”

Rock was pleased with his team’s efforts on Tuesday against Cheyenne Central despite the 2-1 loss. “We played an excellent game,” he said. “I thought we played well enough to win but soccer is like that sometimes.” The Scottsbluff boys team is now 5-5 on the season and will play Laramie today (Thursday) at home.

The Scottsbluff girls went winless in the GNAC tournament, then saw their game against Cheyenne Central canceled. The girls opened the tournament with a 5-0 loss against Kearney on Friday. On Saturday the girls took on Norfolk and lost 3-2. Scottsbluff closed the tournament with a 1-0 loss to Geirng.

Scottsbluff girls’ coach Chad Larson saw some good moves from his team, despite the disappointing results. “I thought we played decent at times, especially against Norfolk,” he said. “Going against Kearney our first game we knew that was going to be a really tough challenge. I think the girls really stepped up to them. Coming out 5-0 you never like to lose but going up against a Class A powerhouse like that I felt we held our own,” he said.

Rock said he felt the girls let Norfolk slip away. “We were really disappointed after that one,” he said. “Going 2-2 with them, then in the final couple of minutes they snuck one in and I think that just kind of deflated us,” he said. “It was hard to regroup and play Gering,” he said. “We’ve got to learn to put away those disappointing games and come back as fast as possible for the next game.”
Scottsbluff girls are now 3-6 on the season and will travel to Laramie today for a road game.

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