The Dodge City Conquistadors mens soccer team earned its second straight Sunday night, beating Garden City 4-2 just days after knocking off No. 16 Barton.
Sophomore midfielder Joseph Vazquez earned his first two goals of the season, while freshman midfielder Aries Yeverino and freshman forward Johnley Dezile also got on the board.
About midway through the first half, Vazquez chased down a ball cleared from near the goal line in the Garden City net and slammed a shot home from just inside the box. The goal was his first of the season, and put the Conquistadors up 1-0.
Dodge City outshot Garden City 5-4 in the first half, but was outshot 14-3 in the second.
Vazquez wasn’t done. Shortly after halftime, 51:17 into the game, Vazquez moved across the front of the Garden City net on a breakaway and scored. Vazquez’s two goals came on three shots-on-goal and four total shots for him that night.
“It felt good,” Vazquez said. “It’s my two first goals of the season and I’m just trying to support the team and help the team the most I can.”
Conquistadors head coach Oscar Zelaya said the win was an example of the team believing in the process.
“I think after this coming win after Barton, I think we’ve just pushed it up as a team,” Zelaya said. “I think (Vazquez) is getting more help from his teammates and everybody trying for the same goal. Now we have that vision, now it’s coming true.”
The win was not perfect. Despite the two-goal deficit After Vazquez’ second goal, Garden City scored off a corner kick to cut Dodge City’s lead to one.
Just under 10 minutes later, Dezile scored his lone goal of the night, sliding to deflect a cross-goal pass into the Garden City net. That reestablished the two-goal lead for the Conquistadors, but Garden City again answered, this time just six minutes later on a goal by Miguel Hernandez.
It proved not to be enough, as Yeverino scored the game’s final goal with just under six minutes left.
The last three goals by the Conquistadors came in the second half. Zelaya said he told the team at halftime that the game was theirs, and they just needed to show they wanted it more than Garden City.
“I think our main focus was to play the ball on the ground, keep playing the game we’ve been training to do,” Zelaya said. “You can tell there that everybody just wants to work.”
As the team prepares to play Cloud County on Wednesday, Zelaya said the win will help the team’s confidence. The team is now 6-3-3 overall and 2-2-1 against conference opponents.
“It’s gonna be a great thing for them to go see,” Zelaya said. “Now it (will) just help us in practice (and) training more, because they’re gonna get more into it and we’re just gonna keep going forward.”
The Dodge City Community College mens soccer team takes on Cloud County Community College at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Dodge City’s Memorial Stadium.