ACCC men falter in Final Four

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

 

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Four Allen County Community College’s soccer players’ body language tells the story as Cloud County Community College’s Netra Sherchan (14) celebrates a goal in Saturday’s Region VI semifinal game at Topeka’s Hummer Sports Park. ACCC goalkeeper Zack Hanks is on his knees while teammates Ethan Kennedy (19), Phillip Moore (18) and Chris Villatoro react to the score. The Thunderbirds beat the Red Devils 8-1.

TOPEKA — Allen County Community College’s men did not have an answer for Cloud County Community College’s Thunderbirds Saturday in the Region VI soccer semifinals.
Cloud County powered past Allen County 8-1 then lost 2-1 to BartonCounty Community College in Sunday’s championship game.
The Thunderbirds scored early then the Red Devils played even with them for awhile in the first half. Allen County had several shots on goal in that span but couldn’t find the net.
Then the floodgates opened. Cloud County, which has 17 international players on its roster, led 4-0 at halftime. Within the first two minutes of play of the second half, it was 5-0.
With 25 minutes left in the game, Cloud County was up 7-0. Allen County finally scored to avoid the shutout. Down 8-0, Allen County got its goal from freshman Roberto Rivera with 15 minutes left.
“It was disappointing to lose like that but I was pleased with the guys I had in there late in the game,” said Doug Desmarteau, ACCC head coach. “They played hard and gained experience for next year.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Zack Hanks was under attack by the Thunderbirds all game. He gave up eight goals but made 22 saves. One of those saves came on a penalty kick in the second half off the foot of Marcos Wenzel.
Allen County made a bid to score after that save. Josh Hardy drew Cloud County’s goalie out and got the ball around him. Unfortunately, the Red Devils did not have anyone trailing the play to finish the play at the net.
“That was big because if we score there, maybe our guys still believe we’re in this game,” Desmarteau said.
The Thunderbirds quickly pushed the ball up field and scored. It became 6-0.
Three of the four goals in the first half were on free kicks by the Thunderbirds.
“We learned we cannot give up penalties at the top of the box,” Desmarteau said. “Our guys were satistified beating Johnson County in the first round, I think. We didn’t play with much intensity Saturday.”
During the regular season, Allen County lost 3-0 to Cloud County.
“We had a good season and were playing good soccer at the right time. It wasn’t the conference season we wanted but we made it to the Final Four again. We get to the Final Four but now need to take the next step,” Desmarteau said.
Allen County finished 8-9-2.