Izabella Christina's two goals lift No. 14 T-Birds to OT win over No. 13 Mavericks

Cloud County freshman Izabella Christina (No. 11) scores the game-winning goal in Monday's 3-2 overtime win over NOC-Tonkawa. (Courtesty photo: Dr. Todd Leif)
Cloud County freshman Izabella Christina (No. 11) scores the game-winning goal in Monday's 3-2 overtime win over NOC-Tonkawa. (Courtesty photo: Dr. Todd Leif)

CONCORDIA, Kansas — The No. 14 ranked Cloud County Community College women's soccer team won a roller-coaster of a home opener on Monday, knocking off No. 13 Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa by the final score of 3-2 in overtime.

"The win showed a lot of heart from the girls," said Cloud County head coach, Charles Long. "To come back after giving up two goals, which I thought were soft goals, I thought the girls stepped up to win a game where we didn't play particularly well. That game was a big test for us."

The T-Birds (2-0 overall) appeared to have the game in hand 18 minutes into the second half, with goals from freshmen Franciele Cupertino and Izabella Christina — both assisted by sophomore Joana Villanova — to stake them to a 2-0 lead.

NOC-Tonkawa flipped the script, however, getting a pair of goals from sophomore Megan Deshazo within a five-minute span to pull back even at 2-2 with 23 minutes remaining.

"I thought the girls kind of relaxed after going up 2-0 and started playing a lot of negative balls backwards. The passing can look pretty, but one mistake in the back like we had and the ball ends up in the back of the net," Long said. "We almost went down 3-2 if not for a great clear by Ingrid Castro."

Cloud County limped to the overtime period still deadlocked with the Mavericks at 2-2. But in the extra time, the T-Birds came out on a mission and looking like the team that had dictated the action (17-10 shot advantage) much of the afternoon.

Just 2:31 into the overtime, sophomore defenseman Juliana Lima laid a beautiful ball out in front of Christina, allowing the freshman to make a quick move to her right and bury the game-winner for her second goal of the game.

"It was great to see one of our sophomore defenders set up the winning goal," Long said. "And Izabella played a great game. She's still really young, but this was great experience for her."

In net, sophomore goalkeeper Alanya Hannigan picked up her second win of the season, stopping seven of the nine shots she faced.

Up next for Cloud County will be its KJCCC West opener at 2 p.m. next Wednesday, September 5 against Hesston College.