T-Birds blank Johnson County, advance to national tournament
TOPEKA — Pitching a third consecutive shutout, the Cloud County Thunderbirds used a postseason run to advance to the NJCAA Men’s Soccer Championships for the second time in three seasons.
Cloud County, the 2011 national champions, defeated Johnson County Community College 2-0 in the Region 6 Tournament championship match Friday at Hummer Park.
The T-Birds downed Dodge City 2-0 in the opening round and then blanked Barton County 2-0 in the semifinals.
Johnson County (13-7) defeated Allen County 4-1 in the opening round and beat Coffeyville in penalty kicks, 4-1, in the semifinals.
Sophomore Chris Lavery, who had both goals in the win over Barton County, gave Cloud a 1-0 lead at the 20:25 mark when he scored off an assist from Alexander Kunz.
The T-Birds (13-8) were clinging to the 1-0 lead when Kerbson Lubin knocked in a goal to up the lead to 2-0.
Cloud County limited Johnson County to just 14 shots, and just four on goal.
Saul Gutierrez was in goal for the T-Birds, and had four saves.
Cloud County had 22 shots, including 13 on goal.
Sam Sizemore allowed both goals, and had nine saves.
Guillermo Aguilar had two saves for Johnson County.
Cloud County will play in the national tournament in Tyler, Texas beginning on Nov. 18.
Pool play rounds will be Nov. 18-20 with the semifinals scheduled for Nov. 22 and the championship match set for Nov. 23.
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