HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — The National Park College (NPC) Nighthawks women’s and men’s soccer teams were defeated by Murray State College on Thursday, with the women falling, 2-0, and the men dropping a 4-1 decision.
After a strong defensive start from each team, the Aggies struck first in women’s action with a 25th-minute goal. Behind freshman Yessenia Vargas (Houston, TX), the Nighthawks (2-14) tried to answer, but were unable to equalize the game through the first 45 minutes. The Nighthawks kept their defensive aggression in the second half, with freshman goalkeeper Brooklyn Mize (Godley, TX) converting four saves across the period. Murray State College gained breathing room with a 70th-minute goal, leading the Aggies to the regular season-sweep of NPC.
Mize recorded six saves in the loss and finishes the season with an NJCAA Region II-leading 199 saves.
In men’s action, two quick goals from Murray State College set the pace early, with NPC (0-12) forced to play catch-up for most of the first 45 minutes. Despite three shots on goal from the Nighthawks, NPC was unable to break into the deficit, trailing 2-0, at the half. NPC upped its offensive tempo over the final 45 minutes, winning the time of possession throughout the second half. At the 81-minute mark, freshman Matthew Farias (Miami, FL) took advantage of an open net to pull NPC within one goal, 2-1. Over the final nine minutes, however, Murray State responded with a two-goal barrage to solidify the win.
NPC freshman goalkeeper Paulino Ruiz (Tyler, TX) converted three saves, while Farias scored the team’s lone goal in the loss.