by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Kansas City Kansas Community College had to settle for a 2-2 tie at Johnson County Friday but wrapped up a post-season playoff berth.
Assured of no worse than a fourth place finish in the Jayhawk East, the Blue Devils could move up to third with wins in their final two games this week – both at home.
KCKCC will play host to Allen County Tuesday and Coffeyville Sunday. Both contests follow women’s games at about 7:30 p.m.
Cowley College (8-0) and Neosho County (6-2) have the top two playoff places in the East locked up but Johnson County (4-3-1) has only a one-game lead over KCKCC (3-4-1) and the Blue Devils have the edge in head-to-head play by virtue of a 3-1 win earlier in the season.
A third or fourth place finish would send KCKCC to either Cloud County (10-1) or Barton County (9-0-1) in the opening round of playoffs next week.
KCKCC dominated play most of the way at JCCC Friday only to have JCCC tie the game when the Blue Devils inadvertently kicked in the game-tying goal with less than seven minutes remaining.
“We had a lot of freshmen playing and one of our defenders was trying to clear the ball and it went into our own goal,” KCKCC coach Ruben Rodriguez said. The two teams then battled through two scoreless 10-minute overtimes.
The Blue Devils took a 2-0 in the first 25 minutes on goals by freshman Marcos Cabral and sophomore Hiago Gaspar, both goals coming on assists from sophomore midfielder Reed Axthelm.
Axxel Chazaro scored JCCC’s first goal on an assist from Marwan Bakit at the 67:00 mark before the tying goal which was credited to Victor Choi.
KCKCC had 15 shots on goal with JCCC goalkeeper Pedro Ivaskoski getting saves on 13 including two each in both overtimes.
Meanwhile, freshman Blue Devil goalkeeper Fabia Keiblinger was recording four saves on just six JCCC shots on goal.
“We just have to do a better job of finishing,” KCKCC assistant coach Burke Slusher said. “We really dominated, probably had possession for 70 minutes.”