The Dodge City Community College soccer teams both received brutal welcomes to the 2008 season Saturday in lopsided losses to Johnson County Community College. The men lost 6-0 and the women lost 11-0 in Overland Park.

    "The first half went really well for us," said men's head coach Tim Romanello, whose team walked away from the first 45 minutes down only 1-0. "We played smart defensively and moved the ball around well."

    But the Conqs fell apart in the second half and gave up five more goals. Romanello said the team was stuck playing defense for most of the game.


The Dodge City Community College soccer teams both received brutal welcomes to the 2008 season Saturday in lopsided losses to Johnson County Community College. The men lost 6-0 and the women lost 11-0 in Overland Park.
    "The first half went really well for us," said men's head coach Tim Romanello, whose team walked away from the first 45 minutes down only 1-0. "We played smart defensively and moved the ball around well."
    But the Conqs fell apart in the second half and gave up five more goals. Romanello said the team was stuck playing defense for most of the game.
    "We had trouble possessing the ball all game," he said. "A lot of it is just the mental preparation side and conditioning. We're in shape, just not quite in game shape."
    He said that he plans to bring more in-game scenarios into practices in preparation for the team's non-conference game Sept. 3 at home against Garden City Community College.
    Both Dodge and Garden City are in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference, and the teams will play each other twice this season. But only their Oct. 22 meeting in Garden City will count toward the conference standings.
    "We'll try to get in some scrimmages, maybe against the high school team, maybe with the women's teams to try to improve on moving the ball," Romanello said.
    He added that the match against Garden will be one of the team's toughest early-season tests.
    "It's going to be a heck of a battle," Romanello said. "We need to do a much better job with the ball instead of just playing defensively the whole time."
    The women's team's 11-0 loss was a product of poor defense and organization, said head coach Becca Crawford. If the game was a measuring stick for what still needed to be installed, as she said in an interview last week, the team will need to regroup and improve on all aspects of the game before meeting Garden City at home next week.
    "The girls just weren't playing very smart," Crawford said. "We've got to play a lot better defense and we need better organization on the field."
    Particularly, Crawford said that when playing defense in a one-on-one scenario, the Conqs players were diving in too much and not winning the ball. And when someone would get beat, the defensive shifts were off, making it far too easy for Johnson County to get clear shots on goal.
    "There's a lot of work to do, but it's doable," Crawford said.
    Both teams will take their 0-1 conference records to Garden City on Sept. 3. The women will play at 5 p.m., and the men's match will follow at 7 p.m.