The month of September was filled with six games for the Warriors, five of these being home events.
“We started out exceptionally, with a win against a nationally ranked team. And having a winning record coming into Conference,” junior Joel Chavez said.
The program was 2-0 coming into September. Continuing to do well in the preseason, the Warriors finished 4-2 heading into conference play.
They began with a match against Central Cristian College in McPherson. Both teams scored in the first half, ending it tied 1-1. The Warriors then scored twice in the second half, taking the lead 3-1. Central Christian only scored once more, giving Sterling a 3-2 victory.
The next two games at home were losses for the Warriors. First against RV Mid American Christian 5-2. While Sterling scored once in each half, it didn’t match Mid American’s five total goals.
Sterling then hosted Nebraska Wesleyan University. The Prairie Wolves got ahead early with a 2-1 lead after the first. Not willing to back down, the Warriors rallied back, jumping ahead and seizing a 4-2 lead. The Prairie Wolves found a way to tie the game 4-4 with seconds left in the second half, forcing the teams into overtime. Nebraska Wesleyan University scored first to win 5-4 over Sterling.
“[This season has] been a huge upgrade from the way [it] has gone in years past, but being realistic, it could be a lot better than it has been so far,” junior Luis Iniguez said. “But it’s a long season. We have the right players and the appropriate staff to improve as we move forward.”
Warrior Fest weekend brought Kansas Cristian College to Warrior territory. The Warriors jumped ahead in the first half with a 2-0 lead over the Falcons. They continued to score throughout the second half, defeating the Falcons 5-2.
Their first conference game of the season hosted Ottawa University, a team they had lost to the past three seasons. The Warriors again got ahead early with a 2-0 lead over the Braves. The second half was silent except for a single additional score for the Warriors by Mauricio Cordone. Sterling won 3-0, shutting out Ottawa and earning their first conference win.
“It was the way we wanted to start the conference, and it was special because it was a team that defeated us last year at their home, so it was kind of a revenge for us,” junior Ramon Lopez said.
Sophomore Emilio Ruiz said the victory sent a specific message to the team. “We were really hyped after the [win]. It was more than the result. We played a great game,” he said. “Knowing that, on top of the result, we are doing things right feels incredible. It was an injection of motivation.”
The last game of the month hosted the University of St. Mary. The Spires took the lead after the first half 1-0. A goal by the Warriors tied it 1-1 in the second half. The Spires scored again to take back the lead 2-1, but the Warriors tied it the game again with minutes left, forcing an overtime where the Spires came out on top, 3-2.
“Now we’re going to move forward. We are not going to let that loss bring us down,” Chavez said. “I trust the team, and believe me when I say it. We are going to learn from our mistakes. We are going to improve, and we are going to get back to our winning ways. There’s no doubt about that.”
Lopez agreed. “October is going to be a good month,” he said. “We know that what happened against Saint Mary was rough, but we cannot be stuck there. We have to keep working because we know good things will come.”
PHOTO CUTLINE: Photo by Hannah Abbate
Goalie Joel Chavez stops a shot on goal from opponent Kansas Christian College Sept. 21. The Warriors went on to win 5-1.