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Rain delay doesn’t put a damper on Loper scoring

UNK’s Ivana Siles tracks down the ball during the match against Northeastern J.C. Siles finished her day with four goals. Photo by Traeton Harimon / Antelope Staff

UNK soccer is coming off a 3-13-2 campaign where they won its first game since 2021. Now, the Lopers enter the spring with a simple goal. 


“Last [spring] we had 13 goals in three games,” said Rob Breton, UNK soccer coach. “I’d love to see if we can maybe break 15 to 20 goals by the end of the spring.”

The Lopers made big strides toward that goal during Saturday’s exhibition games against Northeastern J.C. and Nebraska Wesleyan, netting eight goals in two games to bring their spring total to nine. 

Against NJC, the Lopers struck early and never relinquished their lead. As UNK netted their first goal 29 seconds into the first half from freshman Sarah Levy.

A brilliant sight for coach Rob Breton. 

“That’s huge for us,” Breton said. “We opened the wound early and we never let them heal it back up and kept going after them for the whole game.”

The wound would only get wider for NJC, as the Lopers ended the first half with a 3-1 lead. UNK would continue to strike in the second half, eventually downing NJC, 6-1.

Then, just 3:14 into the second match of the day against Nebraska Wesleyan, lightning and adversity would strike, as the match was halted due to a severe thunderstorm that rolled through the area. 

After an hour plus weather delay, UNK would finally return to the field. However, the storm took all the spark from the Lopers in the first 30 minutes, remaining scoreless with Nebraska Wesleyan at the half. 

UNK would find their lightning in the second half, as junior Ivana Siles found the back of the net at the 22:38 mark of the second half on an assist from Corynne Olsen. Then again with 19:13 to go off an assist from Katie Pagel. 

A performance that stemmed from highlight-worthy week of practice. 

“I talked to [Siles] at the beginning of the week because she probably had two of the best practices that I’ve seen since she’s been her,” Breton said. “She had four goals that, I’m not joking, two of them could’ve been on SportsCenter. Then, when she came out in the game she was just on fire and she was ready.”

The Lopers would go on to down Nebraska Wesleyan, 2-0, in a game that was played nine-on-nine due to injuries for Nebraska Wesleyan. The win brought UNK’s spring goal total to nine.

UNK has two more opportunities to reach their goal goals. The next of which is an opportunity to honor the past and future of Loper soccer with the Loper alumni game. 

“We’ve had 133 players that have played for this program in the past,” Breton said. “We have 33 different people coming out for this event, so that means almost a fourth of my entire history my program is coming out, that’s a huge step in the right direction for us.” 

The alumni game will be played April 20 at 2 p.m. Then, the Lopers will end their spring hosting Garden City C.C. on April 26 at 2 p.m. 

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Traeton Harimon
Traeton Harimon, Sports Editor
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