The Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) Blue Knights split a challenging road trip to Kansas over the weekend, coming away with a 4-0 win over Allen County (Kan.) on Friday and a narrow 1-0 loss Saturday to a strong Butler County (Kan.) squad.
DCTC played its second game in two days while Butler was able to rest and watch the Blue Knights play Allen. Butler hosted the Friday and Saturday contests at its campus in El Dorado, Kan.
Reached after the game for comment, Coach Cam Pagani said he was proud the way his first-year team played over the weekend.
“The Knights played as well as they could have without winning on Saturday,” Pagani said. “Our first-year team showed very well and gained respect in a very strong soccer region. I have no doubt that we could finish very well in that established league.”
Butler currently sits in first place in the Kansas Jayhawk League, with a league record of 12-3 (8-3 overall).
In Saturday’s NJCAA non-conference match, DCTC out-shot Butler 16-8 despite losing the match 1-0. “We were held scoreless, but ran the match for a majority of time with numerous attacking chances,” Pagani noted.
DCTC was able to muster up a consistent second-half effort while holding Butler to one-second half shot on goal. Mandy Stockton turned away 7 of 8 Butler shots in the game. DCTC was held scoreless for the second time in its first year.
The loss gave DCTC a 12-4 overall record. DCTC is 8-2 vs. two-year colleges, 5-1 at home, and 7-3 on the road. DCTC plays its last two regular-season games at home with a match Oct. 22 vs. Macalester JV (7 p.m.) and an Oct. 24 game vs. North Iowa Area CC, also at 7 p.m. at Johnny Cake Ridge Park in Apple Valley.
DCTC will host the NJCAA Region 13 Championship Match against Bethany Lutheran College on Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. The winner of that match will move on to the NJCAA District semifinal (NJCAA top 32).
Other team notes:
Several Blue Knights players are highly ranked nationally for their individual accomplishments, when compared to 2,000 other junior college players in the United States.
- Becca Noonan ranks 17th in the nation with 17 goals and 8 assists.
- Sheena Lien ranks 31st nationally with five goals and 18 assists.
- Hillary Keefer ranks 39th with eight goals and eight assists.
- Goalkeeper Mandy Stockton ranks 18th nationally for keepers, with 149 saves and a 1.4 goals-against average.