CONCORDIA, Kan. – 90 minutes of grit, determination, and sweat would be worth it in the end for the Cloud County men's soccer team as the T-Birds would manage to will their way to a 1-0 victory over number six ranked Barton Community College at the CCCC Soccer Field in Concordia, Kansas on Wednesday, October 16th.
Securing a first-round home NJCAA Region VI playoff game next weekend, the T-Birds improved to 10-4-1 overall and 7-2-1 in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference with the victory. Barton falls for just the second time this year to drop to 11-2-1 overall while finishing as KJCCC West Division Champions with an 8-2-0 conference mark.
A physical but scoreless opening 45 minutes of action would play out to begin the match as no one team would be able to hold onto possession for extended periods of time in a first half that saw opportunities come and go for both the T-Birds and Cougars. Cloud County's best chance in the half would come midway through as Djougher Oliveira would put up a shot that would be blocked before trying to bicycle kick a shot back towards the goal that would sail high as CCCC would only put up four shots total in the first half. Barton would also see their opportunities limited however, as a majority of the opening stanza would be played in the middle two thirds of the field which led to just three shots on goal between CCCC and BCC.
Things would become even more physical in the second half, leading to five cards being issued as both teams would begin to press the issue of trying to create opportunities to score a go-ahead goal. After seeing both the T-Birds and Cougars have a player sent off, the 10-vs-10 play that would take place in the final 26-plus minutes of the game would see both teams start to take more chances. After being limited to just two shots in the initial 40 minutes of the second half, Cloud County would create an opportunity with just over three minutes remaining as a long pass would be sent in to Shaqon Bryan that would be saved by goalkeeper Marco Seyfert but the rebound would find the foot of Felipe D'Agostini who would score to give CCCC a 1-0 lead. The T-Birds would then be able to bleed off the final three-plus minutes of action without allowing the Cougars to attempt a shot, coming away with the 1-0 victory.
Barton would manage to outshoot Cloud County by a final margin of 12-8, but it would be CCCC who would hold a 5-3 advantage in shots on goal. D'Agostini led all players in the game with three shots, two of which were on goal while Norberto Vieira would earn a shutout in net by playing all 90 minutes and turning away three shots.
Two more regular-season matches remain for the T-Birds, beginning on Sunday at 3 p.m. when CCCC travels to Newton, Kansas to take on the Bethel College JV team. Cloud County is then scheduled to take on the Doane University JV team on Monday, October 21st with the NJCAA Region VI Playoffs getting underway on Sunday, October 27th.