Cloud County earns 3-0 shutout of Dodge City to improve to 3-1 on the season

Sophomore forward Rafael Santos (No. 7) scored his first goal of the season in Saturday's 3-0 win over Dodge City
Sophomore forward Rafael Santos (No. 7) scored his first goal of the season in Saturday's 3-0 win over Dodge City

CONCORDIA, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College men's soccer team looked like its old self on Saturday as the T-Birds dictated action wire-to-wire in their 3-0 victory over Dodge City Community College.

"This was our most complete game of the year so far," said Cloud County head coach, James Ross. "From the start we played our way. That was the first game I've recognized the men's team this year. It's a start."

Cloud County (3-1 overall, 2-1 KJCCC West) had been plagued by slow starts and muddled play much of its first three games of the season. But on Saturday, the T-Birds looked like a team that was preseason ranked No. 7 in the country and reigning KJCCC West champions.

Sophomore forward Luiz Garcia got things started for Cloud, courtesy of a corner kick that took a fortunate bounce and deflected in off a Dodge City (2-2-2 overall, 0-2 KJCCC West) player for the game's first goal in the 11th minute.

It would be another sophomore who netted the T-Birds second goal as forward Rafael Santos buried a shot in the box at the 23:29 mark, set up by a deflection from freshman Baptiste Bissessur.

In the second half, sophomore defenseman Alan Brandao joined in on the act as he headed in Cloud County's third goal at the 65:33 mark via a corner kick by Garcia.

Thanks in part to a red card earned 33 minutes into the game by Dodge City, giving the T-Birds a man advantage the rest of the way, Cloud finished with an 18-4 advantage in shots on Saturday.

Freshman goalkeeper Charles Albuquerque was a spotless 2-for-2 in his save opportunities to earn his first collegiate shutout, which was a welcomed sight for Ross and a T-Birds team finished with 13 shutout wins a season ago.

"Between the regular season and exhibition games, it feels like we've given up about the same amount of goals (5) this year already in five games that we gave up all of last year (10) in 21 games. It (defense) hasn't been good enough," Ross said. "The biggest thing I'm taking away from the men's game was how we started and that we got the shutout."

Cloud County will look to build off the momentum when it heads back on the road at 5 p.m. Tuesday to face Northwest Kansas Technical College.