OTTUMWA – Better late than never.
For the third time in the last four matches, the Indian Hills men’s soccer team was better when it mattered the most.
The Warriors, facing a second-half deficit for the fourth straight match, rallied for their third win in that stretch. For the second straight match, IHCC erased a 2-0 deficit four days after scoring three times in less than 10 minutes to steal an Iowa Community College Athletic Conference win away from Iowa Central on Saturday.
On Tuesday, it took a little longer as IHCC and Parkland battled beyond regulation. Diego Sada finally completed the most recent Warrior comeback, scoring the golden goal in the 109th minute to secure a 3-2 win on Tuesday in the second of four straight home games for the Warriors to close out the regular season.
“It was amazing experience. I never gave up. Even though we had to go to overtime, we kept our heads up,” Sada said. “We all knew inside of us that we could pull this off. It felt amazing after that goal to never give up and do something for the team and for our coach.”
Juan Espinal, the head coach Sada was referring to, talked about the most recent comeback win for the Warriors. Indian Hills found themselves facing a 2-0 deficit less than 15 minutes into the match as the Cobras found the back of the net on two of their first three shots.
“We don’t give up. We know we can play,” Espinal said. “It’s just a matter of being ready right from the whistle. We conceded two goals in the first 15 minutes of the game. That’s not good enough. We continue to fight and we’re hungry for it, but we need to start on the right note from the start of the game.”
After giving up the first two goals, Indian Hills stepped up the pressure offensively, but continued to be frustrated in finding the back of the net. David Medeiros had IHCC’s sharpest shot in the first half, a strike from 20 yards out that was stopped by Parkland goal keeper Matteo Gigliozzi to clinch the fourth scoreless first half for the Warriors in the last five matches.
“Obviously, it’s good to win, but we’d love to win without getting scored on and we’d love to win without getting scored on first,” Medeiros said. “We’ve been getting down recently and, when you get down by two goals, you have to do even more to be able to find more than just two goals.
“We don’t want to get down. We don’t want to go into games sleeping. We don’t want to let coach down. We don’t want to let each other down. We need to start working hard from the beginning.”
Medeiros would be at the center of IHCC’s two goals in the second half that forced overtime. The first was unique as the Warrior sophomore took a penalty kick, only to have Gigliozzi make the save.
That save, however, was nullified as officials said Parkland was ruled for a violation during the kick. Medeiros got another penalty kick, had the shot saved again, but pounded home the rebound in the 74th minute to finally get the Warriors on the scoreboard.
“You don’t usually have two penalty kicks stopped. Fortunately, the goal keeper gave it right back to me and I was able to score,” Medeiros said.
Just 84 seconds later, Medeiros found Damien Baltide for the game-tying goal in the 76th minute. The Warriors finished with twice as many shots as Parkland 16-8, but could not find the winning goal until Sada collected a ball in the box and hammered a ball that deflected off Gigliozzi and rolled into the net with 1:40 left in the first overtime period.
“I think we’re switched off in the beginning of the matches,” Sada said. “When we finally score, it’s the boost we need to get us going.”
Indian Hills (11-2-2) returns to ICCAC play Wednesday hosting Hawkeye Community College at approximately 3 p.m. The IHCC women will open the regional doubleheader in Ottumwa facing the Redtails at 1 p.m.