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.
For a young Warrior squad with several soccer players trying to adjust to a new level of the game, the conditions were just one more obstacle to overcome.
“This is all very much an eye-opener to our kids,” Siegle said. “Soccer is a long game. There are lots of changes to pace of the game and lot of changes to the flow of the game. You add those factors to the conditions and it seemed like, once we gave up that first goal, we had a letdown that took us out of our game a little bit.”
That goal from Padua put IHCC behind 1-0, but the Warriors kept fighting and had a few opportunities to even the match. Sebastian Carrion, who had five shots to lead IHCC in the contest, put on a strike with under 10 minutes left that was stopped right at the goal by Cartano that would have evened the contest.
Wentworth (1-1) then put the game away minutes later. Mandino broke away to put home the clinching goal as IHCC players seemed to run out of gas out after a much better effort in its second match.
“I just didn’t like the way we closed out the match in those final couple of minutes, but I’m happy we made progress from our first match to our second one,” Siegle said. “I’m positive we’re going in the right direction, but we’ve just got a lot of stuff we have to work on before regional play begins.”
Indian Hills (0-2) is off until Friday evening when the Warriors travel to Carl Sandburg for its first road contest of the season at 6:30 p.m.
MEN’S COLLEGE SOCCER
Wentworth Academy 2, Indian Hills 0
W.A. 0 2 — 2
IHCC 0 0 — 0
Wentworth Academy — Leonard Padua goal, 49:00.
Wentworth Academy — Lucas Mondino goal, 76:00.
Wentworth Academy: Total Shots — 14 (Lucas Mondino 5). Total Saves — 8 (Corey Cartano 8). Total Fouls — 0.
Indian Hills: Total Shots — 16 (Sebastian Carrion 5). Total Saves — 13 (Colton Mihalovich 13). Total Fouls — 0.