OTTUMWA – One IHCC soccer team thrived under the lights of Schafer Stadium on Wednesday night.
One received a late night wake-up call.
Three of the nation's top scorers powered the 11th-ranked Indian Hills women to a 4-1 win over Hawkeye Community College Wednesday night, lifting the Warriors to a perfect 9-0 record on the season. The Warrior men, however, could not complete the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference crossover sweep, falling 3-1 to the Redtails on the strength of a hat trick by Tbo Sotoyinbo in a match that wrapped up right at 11 p.m.
"This is the game. Sometimes, you play a team that plays a style that counteracts the way your team plays," IHCC head men's soccer coach Kevin Nuss said. "We just were not good enough to deal with it. The shape that they (Hawkeye) played. The style that they played. They were able exploit us and we were just not able to make the adjustments."
The Indian Hills women continued to adjust successfully to different challenges from different challengers. Wednesday's match was marked the latest start time of the season as the Warrior soccer doubleheader could only be played at the temporary home for the program this season after all Ottumwa High School activities, including Bulldog football practice, had wrapped up.
After opening the season playing in the IHCC Classic over a weekend that was marked by 100-degree heat indices, Warrior head women's coach Anthony Longo found the cooler evening temperatures on Wednesday much more enjoyable.
"I think the girls were a little more excited to be out here for a night match," Longo said. "Besides the conditions, the atmosphere as a whole is much more exciting at night. It's always fun to play under the lights. You don't have to battle the sun or the heat. It just adds a little bit more to the entire atmosphere of the match."
Despite the atmosphere, Indian Hills could not build on a goal by freshman Ikumi Okumura in the 21st minute. That goal would be the only score of the match in the entire first half.
"I wasn't thrilled with how we played in the first half. We struggled to really get going," Longo said. "We were much better in the second half. We played the way we wanted to play and got some of our best players involved."
Risa Ogasawara would find the back of the net for the second time in as many matches on a penalty kick, scoring in the 52nd minute to double IHCC's 1-0 lead. Bailey Wiemann would add two goals in the 67th and 71st minutes, the last of which answered a steal and goal for the Redtails (3-3) by Alja Sivic that prevented Hawkeye from being shut out.
"The passing and decision making in the first half just wasn't very good. We had a couple changes here and there, but we didn't create nearly as many opportunities as we should have," Longo said. "Hawkeye was very disciplined. They were very structured. They were patient. That's something we don't see a lot from other teams we've played. They did well for the most part, but in the second half we made the adjustments and were ready to go."
The Indian Hills men appeared poised to follow the same script as the Warrior women, striking first against Hawkeye on a goal in the 10th minute by Ronaldo Carvalho and seemed poised to carry that 1-0 lead into the second half. Sotoyinbo, however, had other ideas scoring the tying goal on a feed from Alex Harris with 4:06 left in the half before striking for the go-ahead goal with 36.7 seconds left, giving the Redtails a sudden 2-1 halftime advantage.
"We just allowed them to possess the ball too long in areas of the field that we couldn't handle," Nuss said. "Eventually, it came to a goal. Once they got that second goal, it totally changed the game."
Indian Hills suddenly found themselves fighting from behind in the second half. The Warriors (5-2-2) scrammbled, but could not put a quality shot on goal in the second half that would have tied the game.
Instead, the best chance to score in the second half resulted in the clinching goal for Hawkeye. Sotoyinbo fired two shots in succession, putting home his own rebound in the 69th minute to help clinch a late-night road win for the 3-4 Redtails.
"This is the game. This is why I love it," Nuss said. "It was a good, tactical matchup. Ultimately, give Hawkeye credit for winning, but we were just not good enough."
Both Indian Hills soccer teams return to action at Schafer Stadium on Saturday afternoon for an ICCAC doubleheader against Iowa Lakes. Action kicks off with the 11th-ranked Warrior women seeking their 10th straight win of the season at 1 p.m.