A 2-0 winner over Coffeyville Sunday, Kansas City Kansas Community College's men will take on a familiar rival in opening Region VI soccer playoff action.
The Blue Devils will open play at Cloud County Sunday at 2 p.m. The game will be played at the Concordia High School field and will be the third year in a row the two teams have collided in the playoffs. KCKCC used a 1-0 win in the second round of the 2017 regional on the way to a berth in the NJCAA DI national tournament but lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to Cloud in last year's opening round.
The Blue Devils scored the only goal they would need just four minutes into Sunday's 2-0 win over Coffeyville. Freshman Elijah Bathily took a pass from sophomore Leonard Bonelli across the middle for the goal. The Blue Devils then scored an insurance goal early in the second half, sophomore Marcus Kawah taking a crossing pass from freshman Javier Blanco for the goal.
The Blue Devil defense excelled, allowing Coffeyville only four shots as freshman goalkeeper Bosco Pery recorded the shutout with two saves. The Blue Devils, meanwhile got off 19 shots including 15 on goal, 13 of which were turned away.
With a lead, KCKCC Coach Ruben Rodriguez was able to go to his second unit. "This gave us a chance to rest our first team and avoid injuries in order to be at 100 percent for the playoffs," said Rodriguez. "We played well; we just need to keep it up."
The Blue Devils will take a two-game winning streak and a 7-5-2 overall record into the playoffs. KCKCC finished third in the Jayhawk with a 6-3-1 record. The league champion will be crowned Monday when Cowley (7-1-1) plays at Johnson County (6-1-2).
Freshman forward Elijah Bathily, who scored KCKCC's first goal in a 2-0 blanking of Coffeyville Sunday, levels a shot from inside the box. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)