The record-breaking season for the Cowley College men’s soccer team came to an end at the NJCAA Division I Soccer Championships with a 4-0 loss to Eastern Florida State College Tuesday in Daytona, FL.
A pair of miscues in the first half of Tuesday’s game put Cowley in a 2-0 halftime deficit. Any thoughts of a Cowley comeback were quickly dashed as Eastern Florida got a pair of goals from Sebastian Joffre in a three-minute span to open the second half.
With the loss, Cowley ends the season with a record of 17-3. The 17 wins are the most in the history of the program, while the Tigers’ 17 straight wins to open the season were also a school-record.
Cowley head coach Ruy Vaz felt the Tigers were still reeling from their 2-0 loss against Marshalltown College in Monday’s national tournament opener.
“We left everything on the field against Marshalltown and were a little tired physically and mentally against Eastern Florida,” Vaz said. “They took advantage of our mistakes. It was a sad way to finish the season, but when we look at the big picture we are very proud of this team.”
Cowley will say goodbye to eight sophomores that won a school-record 26 games during their two years at the school. The sophomores are, Ivo Pellegrino Neto (18 career goals and 19 assists), Carlos Trapero (11 career goals), Ignacio Palacio (10 career goals), Matteo Guagliardo, Callum Nathan, Jake Pfeifer, Nicholas Magri, and Jesus Garcia.
“We made sure to thank all the sophomores for the beautiful job they have done. They have set the bar high,” Vaz said.
Cowley will hope to build off its first-ever national tournament appearance and will return some talented players including Santiago Gimenez, who led the team in goals (13) and assists (11). Forwards Elluan Martins (six goals, six assists) and Hikaru Tanaka (two goals, two assists), along with goalkeeper Ramiro Diez (1.33 goals against average), are among the other numerous freshmen that played vital roles for the Tigers during its magical 2018 season.
“This was a learning experience for the freshmen. We will make sure if we get a chance to get back to the national tournament we will do better and be more prepared,” Vaz said.
It was a memorable first season as head coach of the Tigers for Vaz and for first-year assistant Tanner Brock.
“I am so happy to be a part of this program. It was a blessing to coach this team,” Vaz said. “It was an amazing experience for Tanner and I.”