The Trinidad State Junior College Trojans men’s soccer team overcame a 2-0 opening-half deficit to beat the Dodge City Conquistadors 3-2 in overtime Wednesday night.
The loss spoiled the Conquistadors’ regular-season opener.
Dodge City took a 2-0 lead in the first nine minutes of their home-opener, but two Trojan goals in the second half sent the game into overtime.
Conquistador freshman midfielder Santiago Hernandez scored 8:07 in the first half off an assist by sophomore midfielder Gustavo Lemos Borba. Just 28 seconds later, Borba scored a goal of his own.
“We kind of expect that I think,” Borba said. “We get in games to score, to kill the game soon, but we scored two goals too soon and we got lazy about it.”
The Conqs controlled much of play in the first half, especially for a three or four minute period where they passed accurately and hardly let the Trojans touch the ball.
“That’s what coach ask(s) us: To keep the ball, keep the possession, to make them run not us,” Borba said.
In those five minutes, the team did exactly what they were supposed to do, he said.
“We just should have done that the whole game,” Borba said.
Conquistador head coach Oscar Zelaya said the way the team came out was exactly how he wanted them to.
“We have the idea, we have the capability of doing (it),” Zelaya said. “Now it’s just a matter of making sure we keep it all the way to the end.”
The Conqs controlled much of the early second half, but with 21:32 remaining, Trojan freshman Arseno Hamilton got lose one-on-one with Dodge City freshman goalkeeper Jacobo Figueroa Jimenez and chipped it over Jimenez’s head, cutting the lead to 2-1.
Jimenez came up big a few minutes later when the Trojans were awarded a penalty kick with just under 20 minutes left in regulation.
The shot flew toward Jimenez’s left just inside the goalpost, but Jimenez guessed right and dove, making the save.
Borba said was good to see that the team had two goalkeepers that could easily come in and do the job.
“He saved us once, unfortunately the ref gave them a second PK, and he can’t do miracles,” Borba said. “He did a good job. It’s great to know that we can trust both keepers.”
In the 88th minute however, the Trojans broke through again, as sophomore Christopher Badibengi scored to tie the game at 2-2.
After getting outshot 6-2 in the first have by Dodge City, Trinidad State outshot Dodge City 12-7 in the second half.
In overtime, the Conqs controlled the for much of it early, but with 9:15 left to play in the first overtime period, Hamilton got into the box and was taken down, subsequently being awarded a penalty kick which he put in to win the game for the Trojans.
Dodge City had already recorded two shots by the point the final goal came, but Trinidad’s shot in overtime to seal it was their only one in the extra period.
Through two games, however, Zelaya said he generally likes what he sees and thinks the team is in a good place. They just need to learn how finish, instead of laying back because they are up 2-0.
“We have to get out of that mentality: Just because it’s 2-0 that doesn’t mean that we have to just lay back now,” Zelaya said. “(Our opponents) are still gonna come, especially if they are in our house. They are gonna come and play our game, we are never gonna their game.”
One of the issues Wednesday night, he said, was that the team stopped passing with a purpose. Early in the game, when they dominated the ball control, they had been passing to help move the ball forward. Later in the game, the team seemed to pass to help preserve the lead, rather than expand it.
“I want to play that game on the ground, play it nice and touch it but with a purpose,” Zelaya said. “That’s the thing: Now when you get to a point that you’re just playing it from side to side, side to side without a purpose, it doesn’t work.”
On the women’s side, the Conquistadors also lost opened their season with a loss, falling 3-1 to Trinidad State’s women’s team.
The Conqs men’s team travels to play Southwestern Christian University at 4 p.m. Aug. 24 in Bethany, Oklahoma.
The Conqs women’s team also travels. They play Seminole State College at 4 p.m. Aug. 24 in Wilburton, Oklahoma.