CHEYENNE – Top-seeded Iowa Western made a late first-half goal stand up during a 1-0 victory over Laramie County Community College during pool play at the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament Saturday morning in Wichita, Kansas.
The Reivers (14-0-2) scored in the 45th minute by winning possession along the right sideline just outside the attacking third. Keigo Tanaka carried the ball into the penalty area before drawing a defender and slipping a pass to Ivan Callado, who hit a shot in stride that squeezed between LCCC goalkeeper sophomore Declan Domyan and the near post.
Golden Eagles coach Vince Gibson described the goal as a gut punch to his 12th-seeded club.
“There were only 14 seconds left until halftime, and our guys kind of stopped playing there because they thought our defender, Noah (Espino-Kennedy), got pushed,” he said. “We thought we were going to get a foul call there, but didn’t. Our guys ended up being a step behind.
“I guess we have to learn from that one.”
Iowa Western put eight of its 22 shots on goal, while LCCC took just eight shots, with five on goal. The Eagles got seven of their shots and all of their shots on goal during the second half.
“We changed our formation in the second half, and talked about some defensive responsibilities to help us attack differently,” Gibson said. “We wanted to play the ball forward and get numbers forward, so that’s what we did in the first half. I think we had some jitters and came out and played kind of scared.
“We didn’t really advance the ball in the first half, and put ourselves behind the eight ball.”
Domyan finished with six saves before exiting the game in the 70th minute after re-aggravating an injury.
The Eagles (8-3-2) wrap up pool play against LSU-Eunice (10-3-1) at 9 a.m. today. They still have a chance at advancing to the semifinals with a win and a little help.
“If we pick up a win and end up on the right end of some goal differential stuff, we could still advance,” Gibson said. “We just have to take care of our business (today).”
IOWA WESTERN 1, LCCC 0
Goal: IWCC, Callado (Tanaka), 45.
Shots: LCCC 8, IWCC 22. Shots on goal: LCCC 5, IWCC 8. Saves: LCCC 7 (Domyan 6, Fierro 1); IWCC 4 (Millard).
Corner kicks: LCCC 2, IWCC 6. Offsides: LCCC 2, IWCC 0. Fouls: LCCC 3, IWCC 7. Yellow cards: LCCC 1 (Naite, 30); IWCC 2 (Prego, 39. Kawahara, 73).