By MIKE MONTFORT
Navarro Soccer broke top-ranked Tyler’s 19-game unbeaten streak Wednesday with a 3-2 win in a Region XIV conference match between the NJCAA’s top two rated women’s D-I programs.
Valentina Carvajal, one year removed from ACL surgery, scored twice for NC and team-leading scorer Wasila Diwura added her 12th of the season during the first half for coach Alicia Wilson’s Bulldogs (8-0-1/6-0).
Carvajal hit her eighth goal at the 23-minute mark of the half to break the scoreless battle. Diwura scored her 12th at the 12-minute mark and Carvajal extended the margin to three with five minutes left before intermission.
Coach Corey Rose’s Apaches (9-1-1/5-1) scored twice within a four-minute span inside the final 30 minutes.
All goals in the match were scored at the south end of the Roark Montgomery Soccer Complex. Both teams were advantaged by a 15- to 20-mile-per-hour gusty north wind on the cloudy afternoon.
The Bulldogs secured their third consecutive win at home over TJC. In Corsicana, Navarro defeated the Apaches, 4-1, in 2016, and 1-0 in 2017 — a year in which all three matches were 1-0 decisions.
Navarro and Tyler played Wednesday for the 32nd time in their series since it began in 2008. Half of the matches (16) have been decided by one goal, and three others went to overtime (1-1-1).
The teams return to Region XIV play before another regular-season meeting on October 17 at Pat Hartley Field in Tyler.
Navarro, which has appeared in 27 consecutive NJCAA D-I women’s soccer polls since November 4, 2015, appears poised to step forward and claim the No. 1 ranking, but first must re-focus on a 5 pm Saturday conference match at Brenham’s Rankin Field against the Blinn Buccaneers.
Should NC advance Tuesday to No. 1, it would the Bulldogs’ first No. 1 ranking since October 30, 2013, when they held the top spot in consecutive Tuesdays in October of that national-tournament-qualifying season.
EARLIER IN SEPTEMBER:
Navarro v Butler CC, Ks., cancelled
Potential inclement weather forced a second cancelation of the season.
The ranked teams had agreed to play a neutral-site match at Rose State College in Midwest City, Ok., but the prospect of a severe thunderstorm outbreak with lightning on Friday prompted cancelation of a 2 pm match.
NC also was forced to cancel its 10 am regular season-opener Saturday, August 29, against a regarded Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa program. NOC-Tonkawa’s soccer coaches resigned Thursday afternoon before the scheduled Saturday morning contest.
September 18: Navarro 3, Angelina 2
NC edged Angelina as Paityn Bretzer (2), Diwura (9) and Brianna Garza (5) scored goals. Bretzer and Diwura put Navarro up quickly. After a late first-half Angelina goal, Garza countered with a final-minute goal that re-established Navarro’s two-point edge at intermission.
September 13: Navarro 8, Blinn 0
The Bulldogs amassed six first-half goals and cruised to an 8-0 victory over Blinn.
Navarro won its fourth straight match, extended its shutout streak to five games and ran its total of unanswered goals to 31 during its unbeaten stretch.
Freshman Roneisha Frank scored Navarro’s final three goals of the game (2,3,4) and secured her first hat trick of the season. Garza scored two of the Bulldogs’ first three goals. Other scores came from Diwura, Carvajal and from Andrea Rabanales on a penalty kick.
Blinn’s first-year program (2-6/2-4), coached by Jorden Smith, lost its second straight contest and fifth in the last six outings.
September 5: Navarro 11, Northeast Texas 0
Diwura scored five goals and assisted on three others as the Bulldogs rocked Northeast Texas.
Frank, Carvajal, Garza and Bretzer, along with freshman Tateyana Pitter and sophomore Lorraine Canavan, joined in Navarro’s goal scoring attack.