Cowley Hands AC First Loss of Season
WICHITA, KS – The Angelina College Roadrunners had gone the entire 2023 season without tasting defeat a single time, rolling to a 13-0-2 record on their way to a berth in the NJCAA Division 1 National Tournament.
Their first taste was a bitter one, with the ‘Runners falling to Cowley College 3-1 in Monday’s pool play match in Wichita, Kansas.
Cowley, which lost to Monroe College after double overtime and penalty kicks on Sunday, played with enough desperation against AC to build a couple of quick early strikes. The Tigers’ Yuki Nakamura scored twice in the first half and finished the hat trick with another in the second to lead Cowley.
Nakamura scored on a header in the 13th minute, then followed with a kick in front of the box in the 26th minute to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead at the half.
However, the Roadrunners built up a head of steam in the half’s final minutes, with Kaito Ueki having a pair of point-blank shots turned away from some exceptional Cowley defensive play.
AC carried the momentum into the second half. Moments after just missing on a free kick, the Roadrunners’ Omar Mora took a beautiful feed from Ueki to head home AC’s first goal in the 51st minute, cutting the Cowley lead to 2-1.
Continuing to press the attack, the ‘Runners seemed on the verge of evening the match until Nakamura found the net for the third time in the 63rd minute. AC’s last few attacks came up empty, leaving the team with its first loss of the season.
The Roadrunners will face Monroe on Tuesday, needing a win by at least three goals to win their pool and advance to Thursday’s semifinals.
Kickoff on Tuesday is at 5:30 p.m. The match will be live-streamed on the NJCAA Network (a subscription service).