The Plainsmen soccer team finished their historic season with a loss in the Region IX final against Otero after they defeated Western Nebraska in the semis. The Plainsmen knew that this team had the potential at doing something remarkable; it would be a matter if they could put together two ninety-minute games.
The semi-final game against the Cougars of Western Nebraska would be the first step in creating history for the Plainsmen. The game would start out as a tight match with both teams advancing the ball, but never having a solid chance at scoring. With both teams playing well defensively, the game would stay tied going into halftime. At halftime, Coach Groves was able to stress the importance of the game and what needed to be done to have a victory.
In the second half, the Plainsmen were able to break the ice in the 52nd minute when sophomore Paul Liagre dished one up to Joseph Godoy and he blasted it in the goal; Plainsmen lead 1-0. Throughout the season, the Plainsmen were notorious for allowing teams to score on them immediately after getting a lead, or within the final minutes of the game, so they buckled down for the worst. As minutes passed after initially scoring, the Plainsmen hurdled one obstacle, so now they needed to hold down the fort in the final minutes of the game. With the final minutes of the game approaching, the Plainsmen focused in. The clock ticked and the men did not play scared and continued to attack offensively. When the buzzer sounded, the Plainsmen had defeated the Cougars 1-0, which advanced them to the Region IX final.
The Region IX final matchup for the Plainsmen would be against the Otero Rattlers. In their previous two meetings, the Rattlers had defeated the Plainsmen each time by one goal. Northeastern knew it was their turn to have the upper hand and win the match. This game had a lot of meaning for the Plainsmen as this was the first time in program history that they had made it to the Region IX finals, so they wanted to prove that they were meant to be here and were the best team.
As the game started, it was easy to see that these were the two best teams in the Region IX. Both teams were meticulous in their attacks and strategic in nature. It was the Plainsmen who would claim the first goal in the 23rd minute as Koen Romme would get an unassisted goal giving NJC the 1-0 lead. Again, knowing their own flaws, the Plainsmen did not want to give up a goal after theirs, or late in the half. In true fashion, the Plainsmen had let up slightly in the 40th minute and the Rattlers were able to tie it up 1-1.
At half, head coach Dave Groves had to get the Plainsmen's spirits up and get them to come back in the second half with a vengeance. With the second half starting, it was just as any fan of the game would want; a battle. The game would stay tied until the 74th minute when the Rattlers would get the upper hand and score to give them the 2-1 lead. Being late in the game, the Plainsmen had to scatter to try and score. But there was too much to do with not much time left, and the Plainsmen would lose 2-1.
The Plainsmen would finish their historic season with an overall 13-8 record and 5-6 in conference.