The two best teams in the Wild West North squared off this past weekend with both teams needing a win to clinch the division championship and, more importantly, home field advantage throughout the Wild West Playoffs. After 90 hard fought minutes, the Nevada Coyotes defeated Napa Sporting SC to win its second consecutive regular season championship.
The Coyotes dominated the match from the early going, pressuring the Napa goalkeeper early and often. However, the keeper, as well as the Napa defensive backline, were up to the task of keeping the Coyotes off the scoreboard. The hosts were able to keep the game scoreless through the first 45 minutes.
The second half started in much the same way with an immediate try on goal that was saved by the Napa keeper and sent out for a corner kick. This time, the Coyotes were able to convert as Jake Crim sent a rebound into the upper right corner of the goal to give his team a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute.
Trying to keep pace with the visitors, Napa came roaring back and was finally able to put some pressure on the Coyotes’ defense and goalkeeper, Danny Town. Town took everything that Napa threw at him, preserving the clean sheet.
The Coyotes were able to pick up another goal during second half stoppage time when Suleiman Haruna-Iya picked up a loose ball from about 12 yards out and buried it into the back of the net to double the lead and give the Coyotes the 2-0 victory.
Nevada now must wait for their opponent to be determined for the Wild West Semifinals. While JASA Redwood City has a commanding lead in the Wild West South and is almost assured of the number 1 seed in that division, the battle for second place is a little more interesting. Oakland, Real San Jose, and San Leandro all have a legitimate shot to get into the second place position. The division also has several matches that still need to be made up that could also affect placement.
Even though the opponent is unknown, the Coyotes do know that they will host both the semifinal match on December 1 as well as the Wild West Championship on December 8 if they win the semifinal match. Both matches are scheduled for 4:00 pm at Damonte Ranch High School on their respective dates.