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Late goal lifts Lady Bearcats over North PlatteTell North Platte what you think
Photo by James Parrish
North Platte's Taylor Banark looks for a steal against Kelsey Stithem of Kearney.
Photo by James Parrish
North Platte players (from left) Alex Neff, Marisa Martinez and Elena Farley jump as they try to defend a Kearney free kick.

Nicole Cepel's goal with two minutes remaining gave Kearney a 2-1 victory over North Platte on Tuesday at Bauer Field.

NPHS girls' soccer coach Sarah Kaminski said that as tough as the loss in the final regular season home game, she vows that the Lady Dawgs will learn from it.

"We knew it would be tough competition," she said. "I always tell the girls that when we bring all the great things that we do together, it's when we play our best. We're going to bring good things from this game and do everything great that we know how to do."

The game started off well for North Platte (8-3). About five minutes in, Marisa Martinez made a corner kick from the left side and when the ball landed, Morgan Hansen slid in and knocked the ball in to give the Lady Bulldogs the lead.

North Platte then held on to the lead for the rest of the first half and Kaminski felt good at halftime about how her team had played.

"Our defense was dominating and our passing was great," Kaminski said. "It was a good half for us."

But in the 51st minute, Kearney (9-3) evened it up when Jazy Miles shot the ball from about 15 yards away and she beat Bulldog goalie Abby Stark.

By playing against a 20 mile-per-hour wind coming from the south, NPHS' goal scoring opportunities were few and far between. The chances that the Lady Dawgs did have were snuffed out by goalie Sami Cromer and the Bearcat defense.

"(The wind) changes the game," Kaminski said. "It makes it harder for us to do the little things we do so well."

Then in the 78th minute, Hannah Sickler broke loose toward North Platte's goal on the right side. Then as she neared the goal line, she passed toward the goal. Her cross was right on line and Cepel put it in to give Kearney the lead. The Bearcats hung on in the short amount of time left and they came away with the win.

"They're very speedy up front," Kaminski said of Kearney. "They were able to get their attack together."

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 4/22/2014
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