Trailing 3-1 midway through the second Saturday on its home pitch, IHCC seemed poised to suffer yet another disappointing day of regional soccer action. Suddenly, Jonathan Silva put one kick past NIACC goalie Nathan Spores to give the Warriors its second two-goal match of the season in the 60th minute.
Silva slid in the turf in sudden celebration on wet turf during the rainy afternoon, signifying perhaps a sudden spark had developed within the Warriors team.
“We showed a lot of heart right there,” Siegle said. “The guys didn’t quit. They dug down deep and found a way to get themselves back into the game.”
Just three minutes later, IHCC continued to attack the NIACC net. That attack forced Spores to make one remarkable save, but that only allowed Sebastion Carrion to put the rebound home as the Warriors suddenly tied the match at 3-3 in the 63rd minute.
Suddenly, the Warriors had brought some life to their home dugout as the first win of the season seemed poised to be a formality. Instead, a sudden breakaway by Matthew Stewart started by a missed stop by an IHCC defender allowed the NIACC freshman to score the tiebreaking goal in the 75th minute. Stewart added a second goal six minutes later to allow the Trojans to escape Ottumwa with its second win of the season.
“We just don’t have enough experience and poise sometimes to carry ourselves through the mistakes we’re making out there on the field,” Siegle said. “Three of (NIACC’s) five goals came on counter-attacks where they just outhustled us down the field. That and defensive mistakes led to those goals.”
The virtual dead-even battle with NIACC saw IHCC put up a season-best nine shots against the Trojans, including two by Puchella who had the first goal of the day against the Trojans in the 28th minute. The Plymoth, Wisconsin sophomore carried the momentum gained from Saturday’s match into Monday’s trip to Culver Stockton, where Puchella put six more shots on goal with four finding the back of the net.