CHEYENNE – The Laramie County Community College men’s soccer team has given itself a chance to advance in the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament.
The 12th-seeded Golden Eagles topped LSU-Eunice 3-2 thanks to a 79th minute goal from sophomore Jonathan Jimenez-Flores off an assist from Carlos Vargas on Sunday morning in Wichita, Kansas.
“We were better prepared for a battle like this than they were,” LCCC coach Vince Gibson said. “We might have overprepared because I thought they’d be fresh and really come at us since we had played (Saturday), but they didn’t.
“We got through, the team worked hard and our depth allowed us to put in subs and not lose anything.”
The Eagles (9-3-2) have an outside shot of making the semifinals if Eunice beats top-seeded Iowa Western today.
LCCC had to rally to pick up Sunday’s win.
They took a 1-0 lead off a goal from Manny Tapia on a counterattack in the 18th. LSUE knotted the score 1-1 in the 30th. The Bengals pulled ahead in the 54th thanks to a Jose Escobar penalty kick.
LCCC pulled level at 2-2 in the 60th off an Abe Lopez penalty kick. The Eagles regained the lead in the 79th when Carlos Vargas carried the ball down the right sideline before playing it to Jimenez-Flores in the penalty area. Jimenez-Flores got behind a defender and rifled a shot play Bengals’ goalkeeper Vinicius Cadengue.
LCCC goalie Brian Fierro turned away six shots.
“We don’t look at it like being down, we just try to stay focused, and our kids did a good job with that,” Gibson said. “We had an experience at Trinidad (State) that helped us prepare for anything. We were down to 12 players, and (Tapia) was playing goal and we made it work.”
LCCC 3, LSU-EUNICE 2
Goals: LCCC, Tapia (unassisted), 18. LSUE, Stevens (Bokota), 30. LSUE, Escobar (penalty kick), 54. LCCC, Lopez (penalty kick), 60. LCCC, Jimenez-Flores (Vargas), 79.
Shots: LCCC 18, LSUE 19. Shots on goal: LCCC 6, LSUE 8. Saves: LCCC 6 (Fierro); LSUE 3 (Cadengue).
Corner kicks: LCCC 2, LSUE 5. Offsides: LCCC 3, LSUE 1. Fouls: LCCC 19, LSUE 15. Yellow cards: LCCC 1 (Lopez, 28); LSUE 3 (Wilson, 31. Stevens, 66. Team, 66).