by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Kansas City Kansas Community College and Cloud County will collide in a re-match of last year’s dramatic showdown in opening round Region VI playoff action in Concordia Friday.
A 2-0 win over Coffeyville Sunday night vaulted KCKCC into third place in the Jayhawk East and set up Friday’s 2 p.m. clash with Cloud County at Concordia’s Clark Stadium.
Last year, KCKCC handed Jayhawk West champion Cloud its only loss of the season in a 1-0 overtime thriller in Concordia. The Blue Devils rode that win to the Jayhawk Conference and Plains District championships and a berth in the NJCAA Division I national tournament.
This year, Cloud (12-4-1) finished second in the West with a 10-1-1 record, a half-game behind Barton County (10-0-2 and 14-1-2 overall). Cowley College (14-0) won the Jayhawk East with a 10-0 record followed by Neosho (7-3) and KCKCC and Johnson County, both 5-4-1.
KCKCC won the first meeting with JCCC 3-1 and the two teams tied 3-3 in their second meeting. A 3-1 JCCC loss to Neosho Saturday enabled KCKCC to move past the Cavaliers into third.
KCKCC broke a 0-0 deadlock with Coffeyville with just three minutes left in the half Sunday on a goal by freshman forward Alvaro Garrigos assisted by sophomore Gustavo Palmieri and it stayed that way until freshman Cheslyn Ashby took a pass from sophomore Reed Axthelm for the game’s second goal with five minutes remaining.
Freshman Fabia Keilblinger registered his fourth shutout of the season, turning away each of Coffeyville’s four shots on goal. Meanwhile, KCKCC had a dozen shots on goal.
In other playoff openers, Johnson County will be at Barton County; Cowley will play host to Garden City (4-7-1); and Neosho will entertain Dodge City (7-3-2).