CONCORDIA, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College men's soccer team received timely scoring and a lockdown defensive effort on Saturday, helping the T-Birds take down Dodge City Community College by a final of 2-1 inside Harold M. Clark Stadium.
With the win, Cloud County evened its record at 3-3 overall and improved to 2-0 inside the KJCCC West.
"It was a good win for us. Dodge City is a good team. It's a fast team that came in with a 3-1 record," said Cloud County head coach, Charles Long. "Dodge City is a formidable opponent."
After the two teams played a scoreless first half, Cloud County was able to build a 2-0 lead over Dodge City (3-2 overall, 0-1 KJCCC West) in the second half on goals from freshmen Caio Faro and Jean-Piere Dasylva.
The T-Birds got on the scoreboard in the 50th minute when sophomore defenseman Wanes Hobat intercepted a pass at midfield while running full speed to create a 3-on-2 opportunity going the other way.
Hobat passed to the center of the field to Dasylva, who then forced the Dodge City goalkeeper to come out before sliding a pass over to Faro for the game's first score.
Dasylva then added a goal of his own — his team-leading fourth of the season — in the 66th minute as he won a one-on-one battle for the ball, then dribbled between the teeth of the Dodge City defense before powering a shot past the Dodge City goalkeeper, Rafael Merizio Ribeiro.
Dodge City ramped up its pressure over the final 23 minutes and change, though, and got one goal back in the 75th minute after Cloud County sophomore goalkeeper Charles Albuquerque was called for a foul in the box, leading to a penalty kick opportunity for the Conquistadors.
Albuquerque made the initial save on the PK attempt by Joshua DonJuan, but had no chance at the rebound attempt kicked in by Dodge City's Santiago Hernandez.
"A 2-0 lead can be a dangerous score," Long said. "I wasn't happy with the penalty and if Dodge City scored one more, it's a tie game. And if Dodge would have tied it, we would have been in trouble because they had the momentum."
Fortunately, the Cloud County defense and Albuquerque, who made seven saves on Saturday, were able to shut things down from there and keep the Conquistadors off the scoreboard over the final 15 minutes to preserve the 2-1 victory.
"It was important we held on there and, for the players, it was an opportunity for them to play under some pressure in a tight game holding a lead," Long said.
Cloud County will look to extend its winning streak to three games when it concludes its current home stand at 4 p.m. on Wednesday against a talented Pratt Community College team.
"Pratt is going to very good," Long said. "I think it's going to be a good battle. They (Beavers) have a lot of British and Scottish players, so there will be a lot of serving the ball over the top. It's going to be a physical and intense game."