CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The Laramie County Community College Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II team got its postseason underway on Monday afternoon against the Hutchinson Community College Dragons in the quarterfinals and picked up a 3–1 win in the four versus five seed match to move on to the semifinals of the NJCAAe Invitational Playoffs.
“They played amazing,” head coach Cindy Benites said. “I think that they worked great. Of course, there’s a few things we should iron out before our match with the number-one seed, but they are looking really great right now.”
The opening round of Hardpoint saw the Golden Eagles get out to a hot start in the first two minutes with a 45–12 lead and would continue to grow the advantage with Hutchinson off balance for most of the round despite a few small surges by the Dragons. The round was never in doubt as LCCC cruised to a 250–85 win to go up 1–0 in the match.
“Our key to that is rotating and communicating where people are at and comm’ing who we have down and how many we have down, knowing how many people are left, where they are spawning,” Ahrens said of the quick win.
Andrew Santhuff and Isiaha Ahrens led the team in kills with 29 each, and 49 of them were non-traded kills. They only allowed 63 kills to the Dragons as a team. Santhuff had the highest kill streak with 10 and also had 26 non-traded kills in the match.
The Search and Destroy saw the Dragons bounce back to take the opening round and was able to take two straight after LCCC evened the match, going up 3–1. The two teams traded the next rounds and Hutch took the round 6–2 to even the match going into the Control map.
“It’s been a while since I played with the guys and Search and Destroy is a little more team oriented,” Ahrens said. “I haven’t played with these guys in a while so we still had confidence going into the next map for sure.”
It was Santhuff again leading the way in kills with seven for the Golden Eagles. Dimitrios Chronopoulos picked up five for the team in the loss.
Control opened with a win for the Golden Eagles on defense and they would keep the momentum going into round two with another clean win of both control points to go up 2–0. Laramie County finished off the round with a clean sweep and moved into the final round of Hardpoint with a 2–1 lead.
Santhuff and Ahrens rallied with another 24 kills each and Christopher Johnson picked up 16 to help the push as they had 35 untraded kills as a team in a dominant effort.
As the match went to the second Hardpoint bout, the team felt confident, and it showed in the way they played. The Golden Eagles made a run to take the lead on the second hardpoint at 34–29 and eventually built it to 90–29 before Hutch got their footing again, but LCCC wouldn’t let them get closer than 40 points for the rest of the round and closed out the match with a score of 250–154.
The win moves the Golden Eagles on to the semifinals, where they will face off against the top-seed USC Sumpter, and LCCC is preparing for one of the toughest games of the year. Nevertheless, the team is still feeling good going into it after the success in the quarterfinals.
“I feel like if we take this team down we’ll take the whole thing,” Ahrens said. “I’m excited to see what the boys have in them. [We’ll] take it one game at a time and a couple more games left and we’ll be national champions again.”
“I think we need to work on our respawns and making sure that we are trading kills,” Benites said going into the biggest match of the season for the team. “That’s what it’s going to take. USC Sumpter is not an easy team to go against so we are hoping for the best, but we are going to play our hearts out no matter what.”
Match time is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and will be streamed on the LCCC Twitch page.