Cloud County falls 3-0 on the road to Iowa Lakes in season opener

Cloud County sophomore Tales Avila (No. 4)
Cloud County sophomore Tales Avila (No. 4)

SPENCER, Iowa — The Cloud County Community College men's soccer team showed flashes, but was unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities in Wednesday's 3-0 road loss to Iowa Lakes Community College.

The T-Birds, who enter 2018 without their top-eight goal scorers from last season, are still looking for the right combinations to build cohesiveness and communication as a unit.

"We had some scoring chances early on and just were unable to finish. There was some lack of communication between guys who are still learning how to play with each other," said Cloud County head coach, Charles Long.

Iowa Lakes (1-0 overall) opened the scoring in the 15th-minute and added a second at the 30-minute mark to carry a 2-0 lead into the half.

Momentum started to shift in the second half for Cloud County as the T-Birds became the aggressors and controlled time of possession. Unfortunately, a clearing attempt with a header backfired and led to the Lakers third goal at the 60-minute mark and put a damper on any comeback attempt.

"We were playing well, starting to make a difference in the game and turn the tide when that third goal happened," Long said.

Sophomore goalkeeper Charles Albuquerque made 13 saves in net and Long said fellow sophomore, defenseman Tales Avila, stood out as a bright spot in Wednesday's action.

"We had a couple different guys play well, but Tales really was the one who stood out," Long said. "He was a bright light for us and played very well."

While the T-Birds are disappointed to start the season with a loss, Long said the mistakes from Wednesday are correctable and the talent is there for Cloud County to be a contender inside the KJCCC West this fall.

"Iowa Lakes head coach told me after the game 'Your guys are extremely talented,'" Long said. "We just struggled to find that unity on the field. We just need to put it together and get on the same page."

The T-Birds will try to do that at 4 p.m. on Monday when they host their home opener against Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa.