The Dodge City Community College Conquistadors fell 1-0 to the Barton County Community College Cougars Wednesday night in the team’s home-opener.
It was the first loss of the season, and mad the team’s record 2-1-2.
The Conqs were outshot consistently and seemingly always on the defensive. They were outshot 10-1 in the first-half, their lone shot coming off the foot of sophomore midfielder Renan Pereira. Sophomore goalkeeper Angelo Squizato Neto allowed one goal and made five saves.
“I think he did really good,” Dodge City head coach Oscar Zelaya said.
The Conqs nearly tied the game with 4:23 remaining, but a header by sophomore midfielder Abel Chevelon hit the crossbar and bounced out, preserving the win for Barton. Zelaya said moments like that are tough, including on the coaches.
“You’re happy but then at the same time you’re sad right away,” Zelaya said. “It’s one of those feelings that if it gets a goal then you’re all happy but if you miss it then you’re all sad because now you know that you’re going to have 25 kids now that they are going to go to the locker room all sad and you’re going to do something to pull them back up.”
Overall, Barton outshot Dodge City 6-1 in shots on goal and 13-6 in total shots.
“I think where we struggled was pretty much in trying to figure out how we can do our game, and we’re a lot better than that,” Zelaya said.
The first half was the roughest for Dodge City, and people who saw it could attest to that, Zelaya said.
“That’s one of the things that I don’t know why, when we played so good these past games and then we could come up and do something like this,” Zelaya said. “But we brought it back in the second half and showed a lot of improvements.”
Dodge City outshot Barton 5-3 in the second half, tied Barton 1-1 in shots on goal in that span. One of the biggest areas Dodge City struggled in was corner kicks. Dodge City took four, while Barton took 14 in Wednesday’s game.
“There is a lot of stuff that we need to work on now, especially trying to work out in those set plays how we can get our kids to jump for the ball and not get it stuck in the back,” Zelaya said.
Despite the result, and the near-miss at a possible draw, Zelaya said he has confidence in his team and its ability to turn it around after this first loss of the year.
“I trust every single one of them,” Zelaya said. “I know that they can do better, and I hope that this is our last loss of the season and I hope that they think that way. From their faces I think that they learned, and that’s a good thing. That’s the good thing, where you have to lose something in order to see where the mistakes are, and that’s why I think it was a good loss for us even though nobody wanted it.”
The Dodge City Conquistadors men’s soccer team next plays Cloud County Community College at 4 p.m. Saturday in Concordia, Kansas.