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Tiger soccer team comes up just short of playing for a national title

Tiger soccer team comes up just short of playing for a national title

The eighth-seeded Cowley College men's soccer team gave third-seeded Monroe College (NY) all they could handle in the team's semifinal game played Thursday at the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in Melbourne, FL. The Tigers out-shot the Mustangs 16-5 and controlled the game, but came up on the wrong end of the 2-1 final score.

Monroe College (13-1-3) advances to play seventh-seeded Arizona Western (17-2) for a national title on Saturday at 6 p.m. CST. Cowley finishes another tremendous season with a record of 16-5.

Cowley needed just over a minute to score the game's first goal as Caique Trivelato, who scored five goals in the first two games of the tournament, stole the ball away from a Monroe defender and fired a shot on goal that Mustang keeper Johan Rodriguez mishandled and Filipe Freitas was there to score and give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

The score would remain 1-0 until Mustang sophomore Tony Yeboah scored back-to-back goals within a four-minute span of the first half to help Monroe to the 2-1 halftime lead.

The Tigers would continue to pressure the Mustangs in the second half, but Rodriguez turned away six of the seven shots Cowley placed on goal.

"It was a tough defeat, especially because it felt that we were so close," Cowley head coach Ruy Vaz said. "Our players left everything on the field, and I applaud them for that."

Cowley entered this year's national tournament with just two national tournament victories in the program's history and equaled that with this year's run to the semifinals.

"I am very proud of everyone. This was a special season with many plots," Vaz said. "We suffered, learned, and grew together and made it to the top four."

Cowley will say goodbye to 14 sophomores that were a part of 34 wins over the past two seasons.

"I want to thank all my sophomores for the tremendous work they did at Cowley and for the indelible mark they left. We will miss them," Vaz said.