MyHometownPost Brands

Cowley College Lady Tiger soccer team wins first-ever district title


All the hard work paid off. After 16 seasons since starting the women’s soccer program at Cowley College, the Lady Tigers are heading to the national tournament for the first time in program history after Cowley knocked off top-seeded Barton Community College 2-1 Sunday in the Plains District title game played in Overland Park, KS.

Roberto dos Santos served as the head coach of the women’s soccer team in the inaugural season of the program in 2008. He then went on to coach the Tiger men’s soccer team before returning to coach the Lady Tigers in 2018.

This was the second district title game dos Santos had led his team to in the past three seasons, the first being a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime loss to Butler in 2021. This time, the Lady Tigers were able to finish the job.

“This is a historic win for the program; I am so proud of this team,” dos Santos said. “They have been so resilient throughout the season, always looking to get better, and it showed during the district final.”

Barton entered Sunday’s game ranked eighth in the NJCAA Division I with a record of 14-1-3. Two of the Cougars’ three ties came against Cowley in the regular season.

Cowley, ranked 17th, improves its record to 12-3-4.

On Sunday, Cowley struck first when sophomore Lucia Rivas scored her team-leading ninth goal of the season midway through the opening half.

Eight minutes later, Barton would tie the game at 1-1 on a free kick.

The game would remain tied until Nanaka Inaba netted her fifth goal of the season off an assist from Fenja Leibner with 20 minutes remaining.

Cowley would make the lead stand up as the team set off a raucous celebration when the game clock struck zero.

“We played a good team, and our Cowley players showed that we are competitive and don’t give up easily,” dos Santos said. “It is a great day to be a Tiger!”

The Lady Tigers will not have to travel far as this year’s national tournament will be played November 12-18 at the Stryker Sports Complex in Wichita, KS.

“We are so happy to be a part of the national tournament,” dos Santos said. “We are excited and will get the most out of this opportunity.”