By MIKE MONTFORT — They battled and battled for 110 minutes Saturday — 90 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtimes — and still could not break the scoreless tie.
Coach Alicia Wilson’s 14th-ranked Bulldogs (7-2-1) and the Richland Thunderducks (2-6), ranked eighth in Division III, settled for a zero standoff at the campus field.
Most action occurred in the Richland end of the field all afternoon, with Navarro attempting 28 shots and 10 shots on goals. NC offered 17 shots during the second half — one shot skittered off the top of the crossbar, and another in OT was denied by a diving stop.
On the other lonely end, goaltender Kaitlyn Baugh fielded one true shot on goal all afternoon — that coming in the second half.
Outcomes Saturday were different than on August 31 when NC shut out the T-Ducks at Richardson, 4-0. The Bulldogs played short-handed Saturday thanks to some minor injuries, yet managed to escape with an unbeaten streak alive at three matches.
NC hopes to heal sufficiently for its first Region XIV showdown at 7 pm Tuesday in Tyler against the third-ranked Apache Ladies (7-1, 3-0) at Pat Hartley Field on the TJC campus. The Bulldogs already enter the match without top scorer Deneisha Blackwood, who drew a red card at 24:26 of the second period Saturday.
As penalty, Blackwood, who has a team-high 17 points from 8 goals and an assist in her eight starts, will miss both road conference matches this week — Tuesday at TJC and Saturday at Paris.
Photos by Keith Speer