OTTUMWA — Two wins in the span of 72 hours is a positive.
Scoring just five goals and nearly letting the first win at home slip away, however, is what caught the attention of head coach James Ross on Monday after a 2-1 win for the Indian Hills men's soccer team over John Wood. The Warriors held off the Blazers despite an 18-3 edge in total shots, nearly allowing the visitors from Illinois a chance to force overtime on the final shot of regulation.
Indian Hills picked up an impressive regional win on the road over the weekend, topping Iowa Central 3-1 at the Harlan Rogers Sports Complex on Saturday. Takumi Semba scored twice in the first half after a Seba Herrera's goal five minutes into the match off a free kick, lifting the Warriors to a 3-0 halftime lead.
Indian Hills, however, failed to expand the lead in the second half. The Tritons were able to get on the board in the 75th minute on the first career goal for Lucas Hazi Pollacchi, giving Iowa Central a glimmer of hope.
"When you get 18 chances a game and score just two goals after having about 25 chances on Saturday and only scoring three goals at Iowa Central, at some point being that wasteful comes back to bite you," Ross said. "We're getting some point-blank opportunities in front of the goal and not converting. We are playing better, moving the ball one-touch and two-touch, which is the way we want to see the guys play.
"We are setting them up in different formations. All we do as coaches is watch film on the next team we're going to play. In my opinion, if we stop being so wasteful in front of the goal, I think we can make a lot of noise."
Hererra was again able to score the first goal on Monday for the Warriors, heading in a free kick by Shogo Koike to put IHCC ahead 1-0 in the 29th minute. Indian Hills didn't allow a shot by John Wood until Chrisnaldo Milfort released a deep desperation strike that drifted beyond the net as time expired in the first half.
Shogo Tobase made a run in for IHCC's second goal on Monday, firing a strike past Blazer goal keeper Isaac Adnitt in the 54th minute. While the Warriors managed just two goals on 18 shots, John Wood made the most of the team's second shot in the match as Winter Casseus dribbled the ball around IHCC freshman defender Andres Valencia, doing so long enough to draw Warrior freshman goalie Andrea Ferri out of the net opening the goal for a score in the 69th minute that put the Blazers (0-3) right back in the match.
"It was the same story on Saturday. Iowa Central got one shot and turned it into a goal. John Wood gets one shot in the second half and turns it into a goal," Ross said. "I'm not going to make excuses. We've just got to keep going and we have to start putting the ball away early. If you put the ball away early and go up two or three goals early, that's when the game can get away from your opponent."
Instead, John Wood gave themselves a chance all the way to the final shot of regulation to at least extend IHCC into overtime. The Blazers drew a foul with two seconds left, stopping the clock and giving John Wood a free kick opportunity to find the back of the net and tie the score at 2-2.
Adnitt took the kick on the all-or-nothing play from 25 yards away. Fortunately for the Warriors (4-4-2, 3-4-2 ICCAC), the ball never reached the net as the Warriors prevented the potential scoring strike from getting off as time expired.
"If we're not so wasteful in front of the goal, we're right there with the best of them," Ross said.
Indian Hills had a two-match winning streak snapped on Tuesday, falling in regional play at Marshalltown 2-1. Guilherme Pereira scored the winning goal for the Tigers with 1:09 left in regulation.
The Warriors return to the field on Sunday on the road against Iowa Lakes. Action in Spencer begins at 1 p.m.
Indian Hills 2, John Wood 1
JWCC 0 1 — 1
IHCC 1 1 — 2
Indian Hills — Seba Hererra goal (Shogo Koike assist), 28:14.
Indian Hills — Shogo Tobase goal 53:30.
John Wood — Winter Casseus goal, 68:45.
John Wood: Total Shots — 3 (Casseus, Chrisnaldo Milfort, Cristobal Morales). Total Saves — 6 (Isaac Adnitt 6). Total Fouls — 9.
Indian Hills: Total Shots — 18 (Kanata Furutani 3, Takumi Semba 3, Tobase 3, Ronaldo Carvalho 2, Hererra 2, Denis German Barcojo, Federico Belintende, Edin Ganic, Koike, Rui Tsubakihara). Total Saves — 1 (Andrea Ferri). Total Fouls — 7. Yellow Cards — Fredy Beda.