TYLER, Texas — The No. 2-seeded

Cowley College men’s soccer team

pulled out a hard-fought 1-0 victory

Monday against a Louisiana State


team that is not an

ordinary No. 11-seed

in the opening

game of the NJCAA

Division I National


Cowley, playing

in Pool B, will face

seventh-seeded Arizona Western

Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.

After a scoreless first half,

Cowley kept the pressure on the


Just more than 12 minutes

into the second half,

LSU-Eunice goalkeeper

Diego Montoya made a

pair of diving saves before

Hideto Gondo sent a beautiful

crossing pass that was headed in by

Tensei Sakaue to give the Tigers the

only goal of the game. The goal by

Sakaue was just his second of the

season, but could not have come at

a better time for the Tigers.

Less than two minutes later,

Cowley dodged a bullet when Jose

Escobar had a point-blank shot

saved by goalkeeper Rafael

Furlani. The Tigers (18-0)

continued to control the

game and held on for their

second 1-0 win of the season.

Furlani notched his

eighth shutout of the season against

the Bengals (8-5-2).

“The guys did a good job of pressuring

them the entire game and

made them tired down the stretch,”

Cowley coach Ruy Vaz said.

The victory was the second

national tournament win in the history

of the men’s soccer program.

The 18 wins are a school record

for the Tigers, surpassing the program’s

17-win season in 2018.

LSU-Eunice will face Arizona

Western (18-1) to prior to Cowley’s

matchup with the Matadors on


“We will use the day off to recover

and will then need to be ready

to get right back at it,” Vaz said.

“Arizona Western plays a similar

style to us, so we will need to be

Gondo prepared for a battle.”

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