OTTUMWA — Indian Hills head men’s soccer coach Doug Siegle wasn’t going to have to wait long to see if his team could step it up.
Could meet his meet the challenge?
Could his team improve just two days after a lack of physical and mental focus cost them its first match?
Siegle got a major part of the question answered on Sunday afternoon when the Warrior men returned to the home pitch to conclude the “Kickoff” Classic against Wentworth Academy. From the opening minutes of play, a different Indian Hills team showed up mentally determined to whatever it took to pick up the season’s first win.
That’s half the battle for the Warriors. The physical part of the game, however, is still a battle Siegle’s squad has to overcome.
Wentworth Academy overcame several attacks by IHCC to keep the game scoreless heading into the half. A Leonardo Padua goal nine minutes into the second half, a huge late-match stop by goalie Corey Cartano and a clinching goal with four minutes left by Lucas Mondino lifted the Missouri military school to a 2-0 win on a hot day that wore on all players in Ottumwa.
“Technically, we made too many silly mistakes,” Siegle said. “We gave up possession without being under pressure. Those two goals came off our mistakes.”
“Effort-wise, this was what I was looking for from our guys. We just have to get better technically. We’re not communicating on our runs and we’re giving up the ball way too easily.”
Despite those turnovers, IHCC had plenty of opportunities to its first lead of the season. The Warriors fired 10 shots in the opening half, doubling up Wentworth in the category, but couldn’t get anything into the net.
As the game wore on in the dead of a hot afternoon, both teams began to feel the effects of the 90-plus degree temperatures. Twice in the second half, the game was delayed due to players going down with cramps.