HUTCHINSON, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College women's soccer team kept its chance for a second consecutive KJCCC West championship alive Wednesday, going on the road to earn a 2-0 victory over Hutchinson Community College.
Cloud County (8-1 overall, 6-1 KJCCC) entered the day sitting third in the KJCCC standings, behind Hutchinson (7-1-1 overall, 5-1-1 KJCCC) and Barton Community College (7-2-1 overall, 6-0-1 KJCCC), after a disappointing 5-1 loss to the Cougars last Saturday. Hutchinson and Barton tied each other in their first meeting.
Wednesday's victory for Cloud County served as a strong bounce-back performance and one that puts the T-Birds, who played without their two injured captains Joana Villanova and Abigail Conway, back in the hunt for the conference crown.
"I told the girls, as we get into our second half of the season, 'Just put your heart into it,'" said Cloud County head coach, Charles Long. "I thought we played a good first half against Barton and a bad second half. We're still trying to put a full 90 minutes together. As a whole, I thought we put two good halves together (Wednesday). Hutchinson is always a good, well coached team, so this was a great road win for us."
After a scoreless first half, the T-Birds got the game's scoring underway just one minute into the second half when sophomore Gabriela de Jesus was able to power a left-footed shot into the back of the net off a pass from freshman Izabella Christina.
It was the first goal of 2018 for de Jesus, who responded well to her added role on Wednesday.
"Gabriela really was the spark for us," Long said. "She played smart and was strong with the ball. She brings experience to the game and was a much-needed veteran presence out there on a day we were playing without our two captains."
Cloud County received its insurance goal from Christina with 30:52 remaining as she took a deep ball from freshman Thaina Cavalcante and was able to pop a shot over the head of Hutchinson goalkeeper, Taylor Camp.
For Christina, the score was her team-leading 11th goal of the season.
Sophomore Chelsea Cordice, who began her career at Cloud County as a midfielder, picked up her first career win as a goalkeeper on Wednesday after stopping the one shot on goal she faced.
"Chelsea has been getting some training in the net. I thought She was very calm back there and gave the team confidence," Long said. "And I thought our back line of Ingrid Castro, Juliana Lima and Yasmidt Mendoza played well in front of her."
Cloud County will look to build off Wednesday's victory when it begins the second lap through the KJCCC West this Saturday on the road against Hesston College. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.