No. 14 ranked T-Birds earn 3-1 road win against Iowa Lakes to begin 2018

Cloud County sophomore Joana Villanova scored a goal in Wednesday's 3-1 road win over Iowa Lakes
Cloud County sophomore Joana Villanova scored a goal in Wednesday's 3-1 road win over Iowa Lakes

SPENCER, Iowa — The Cloud County Community College women's soccer team kicked off the 2018 season in fine fashion on Wednesday, using early goals in each half to run past Iowa Lakes Community College by a final of 3-1.

"The girls were focused, they worked hard as a team and they played united, which was good to see," said Cloud County head coach Charles Long, who also earned his first victory as a member of the T-Birds' staff.

Sophomore forward Joana Villanova, a First-Team All-Region VI player as a freshman, picked up where she left off last year as she got the No. 14 ranked T-Birds (1-0 overall) on the board just three minutes into the game on an assist from freshman Thaina Cavalcante.

After going into the half with the 1-0 advantage, Cloud County tacked on a pair of quick insurance goals to begin the second half.

Cavalcante buried a shot at the 42:23 mark of the second half, assisted by freshman Franciele Cupertino, and freshman Izabella Christina followed with a goal of her own two minutes later, set up by sophomore midfielder Maria Barbosa.

"Those goals showed we came out of the halftime prepared," Long said. "After those two goals, they (Lakers) were basically on the ropes."

As a team, Cloud County dominated the shots column with a 27-7 advantage over the Lakers (0-1 overall).

Sophomore goalkeeper Alanya Hannigan made six saves in those seven chances to nail down the victory. Her lone blemish was a late one-on-one chance for Iowa Lakes it converted with 7:31 remaining in the game.

Up next for Cloud County will be its home opener at 2 p.m. on Monday against the team right ahead of them in the NJCAA Division I rankings: No. 13 Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa.

"They (Mavericks) are going to be a good team and it'll be a good test at home for us," Long said. "We still have some work to do with it being early in the season and with conditioning, but this was a good start for the girls."