Cowley College sophomore Elluan Martins-Gomes scored a pair of goals to lead the Cowley College men’s soccer team to a 2-0 victory Friday against Cloud County in the second round of the NJCAA Region VI Playoffs at Bulldog Stadium.
The Tigers (12-1-2) advanced to the Plains District semifinals and will meet Hill, Texas (11-4) at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Stryker Sports Complex in Wichita. The winner of that game meets the winner of the other semifinal between Johnson County (11-5-3) and UA Rich Mountain, Ark. (8-3-5) at 7 p.m. Thursday for the District title.
Martins-Gomes’ goals came nine minutes into the first and second half. Cowley goalkeeper Ramiro Diez made the lead stand up by stopping all six shots he faced.
The loss snapped a five-match winning streak for the Thunderbirds (14-5-1).
“This was a huge win for us,” Cowley coach Ruy Vaz said. “Cloud (County) is a talented team, so this was a good win for us because if we want to keep moving on, we are going to have to beat teams with a lot of talent.”
Martins-Gomes scored his first goal by lofting a shot over Cloud County keeper Norberto Vieria’s head. The second goal marked just the third time this season that the T-birds had allowed more than one goal in a game.
“We were clutch,” Vaz said. “To win this type of rivalry game should give our guys confidence moving forward.”
The loss marked the first time Cloud County had failed to score at least one goal since a scoreless tie on Oct. 2 at Dodge City.
“Our defense did a god job of neutralizing their main players and Ramiro was great in goal,” Vaz said. “We appreciate the effort of all of our players and are thankful to have this experience.”
Now it’s on to the Plains District semifinals, with hope of a repeat visit to Nationals.
“Hill is a very fast, feisty team,” Vaz said. “We are very happy to be competing in back-to-back district tournaments and want to play our most intense game while having no lapses of concentration. It should be a great atmosphere in Wichita — the guys are looking forward to it.”