Cloud County Women's Soccer Wins Region VI Crown; Headed to National Tournament
By David Wilson
CCCC Sports Information Director
As the final seconds ticked off the clock in Friday's Region VI Women's Soccer Championship game, on a frigid early afternoon at Hummer Sports Complex, the Cloud County women's soccer team was envisioning the warm beaches of Florida.
The reactivated program added the latest chapter to its now historic 2017-18 season as the T-Birds defeated Coffeyville Community College, 2-0, to wrap up the program's second Region VI title in school history (2001) and earn their first ever trip the NJCAA DI Women's Championships, held Nov. 13-18 at Titan Stadium in Melbourne, Florida.
"Right when we added the program, and some of the recruits started committing, I said I thought we would make the national tournament," said Cloud County head coach, James Ross. "We were adding this program to compete and to win... We're pumped for Florida."
Cloud County (15-3 overall), coming off a 3-0 upset of No. 16 ranked Butler on Thursday, dictated action Friday against a Red Ravens team that pulled an upset of its own in the semi-finals when it defeated No. 17 ranked Johnson County.
The T-Birds outshot Coffeyville 13-3 -- 8-1 in the first half -- but were held off the scoreboard until the 36:47 mark of the first half when freshman Gabriela de Jesusnetted her first goal of the season.
"Gabriela is a very good player. She was hurt at the beginning of the year (limited to 13 games), but we wanted her healthy for these games," Ross said.
Cloud went into protect mode in the second half, maintaining its one-goal lead until freshman Yohanna Duliep delivered the dagger with 4:50 remaining, set up by an assist from de Jesus, to up the lead to 2-0.
Defensively, the T-Birds back line and freshman goalkeeper Alanya Hannigan limited the Red Ravens to one shot on goal en route to earning back-to-back shutouts.
Coach Ross and his T-Birds will now wait to hear from the NJCAA next week on which seed and pool they will compete in when the NJCAA D1 Women's Soccer Championships begin on Monday, November 13.
"We're going to have a mini preseason," said Ross when asked how the T-Birds will spend the time between Friday and Nov. 13. "We still have some girls we need to get back in shape, but the big thing is we're all healthy."