COLUMBUS – The Western Nebraska Community College men’s soccer team moved into a first-place tie in the Region IX South conference race after earning a shutout win against Central Community College-Columbus 2-0 in Columbus Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars, 6-3 overall and 3-1 in conference play, got back on the winning track and played like head coach Todd Rasnic said they should be playing.
“It was a good performance overall. It was a great team win,” Rasnic said. “I thought we learned a lot about how to take a lead in a game and finish a game out. That was one of the lessons I wanted them to learn this weekend. I think that was accomplished today.”
The win was even bigger considering the Cougars have been struggling of late and they were facing a talented Central-Columbus team that is now 2-2 in conference play and 4-3-2 overall.
“Central is a fantastic team. They beat NJC Friday night 3-0. They beat Otero. Trinidad was the only team to beat them and they beat them by one goal,” Rasnic said. “To keep them goalless and to beat them by two goals, I thought was a good accomplishment since some of the kids on our team are on team discipline, including starters. It was a great team win and people stepped up and did what they should have done. It put us on the right track after losing that stupid game to Western Wyoming, which we shouldn’t have lost.”
WNCC scored early and then managed the game to get pick up their sixth win of the season.
“We got an early corner kick and Ade got in and finished the ball,” Rasnic said. “We controlled the run of play most of the first half and ended up with a second goal that boosted our confidence level. We have been talking to those players that we lost a couple of games where we get a lead and we can’t manage a game. Once we scored that second goal, that changed us tactically on the field where we just tried to manage the game better and just try to attack on counter attacking.”
WNCC wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard scoring just two minutes into the contest as Ade Oshikoya planted the ball in the back of the net a corner kick by Rameses Atahualpa. WNCC went up 2-0 with 30 minutes left in the first half as Atahaulpa scored on a Silvio Xavier assist.
After that, the Cougars held the Central-Columbus offense at bay. WNCC finished with eight shots on goal while Central had seven. Viktar Kravets recorded five saves in net.
Both WNCC soccer teams will be back in action Sunday when they take on Northeast Community College in Norfolk. After Sunday, the two squads get back into Region IX South play when they travel next weekend to take on Otero Junior College and Trinidad State Junior College. Trinidad State is the team the Cougars are tied with at 3-1 in the conference standings.