The Dodge City Community College Conquistadors men’s soccer team ended Sunday night with a draw, tying the Pratt Community College Beavers 2-2.
It was a tough draw for a team which jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes of the game.
“That’s one of those games where Sunday you’re prepared to play, and then suddenly you don’t know where the problem (is) and now you’re playing catch-up (on) how to figure out where the problem’s at,” Conquistadors head coach Oscar Zelaya said after the loss. “That’s what I think pretty much had happened. Guys came out good, they did their job, they did what they’re supposed to do but somehow after that first 25 minutes we just couldn’t figure out where was the problem.”
The Conquistadors got on the board first when in the 16th minute, sophomore midfielder Abel Chevelon passed the ball across the front of the net. Freshman midfielder Aries Yeverino was in position to make a play and headed the ball in, giving the Conquistadors a 1-0 lead.
Chevelon was on the receiving end of a similar play less than two minutes later.
Near the goalie-box, Dodge City freshman midfielder Connor O’Neill passed the ball across the front of the net where now Chevelon was waiting, one-touching the ball into the net to give the Conquistadors a 2-0 lead with just under 28 minutes left in the game’s first half.
That was about the end of the fortune for the Conquistadors.
With just 51 seconds left in the first half, Beavers freshman forward Sam Hatungiami-Irakoze scored to make the score 2-1.
Pratt sophomore midfielder Nathan Wilson scored in the 82nd minute, making the score 2-2.
Whatever was wrong, Zelaya said he knew it could be enough for the Beavers to make the game competitive.
“This is college ball,” Zelaya said. “I’ve been here for four years already, going on my fifth season, and (if) you give a team something like that and they’ll come back. They’ll come back. They’ll try to do anything possible and come back and that’s what it is. You have to be ready, that’s what I told my guys ‘You have to be ready all 90 minutes, (after the clock) starts.’”
The game ended in a 2-2 draw after the two teams played two scoreless overtimes.
Despite the result, Zelaya said the game didn’t shake his confidence in his team, just that losing is sometimes necessary and team will come back.
“I still trust my kids, they’re really good kids,” Zelaya said. “You can see on the field they’re disciplined kids, they put the work (in), they work all the way to the end, which you can tell a lot from that. I cannot ask more from them.”
Dodge City next heads to McPherson, Kansas to take on the McPherson College JV at 8 p.m. Wednesday night.