OTTUMWA – The final result may go down as a draw.
As far as Remerdie Ndiang is concerned, the Indian Hills men's soccer team walked off the field on Thursday as the winners against 13th-ranked Marshalltown. Ndiang once again scored the tying goal in the second half, preventing the Warriors from suffering a loss on their home field as IHCC settled for a 1-1 draw against the Tigers.
"In our book, we won the game," Ndiang said. "The refs kind of screwed us a little bit, but that's in the past now. We played our best game and that makes us happy."
James Ross echoed the feeling of Ndiang. The first-year head coach of the Warrior men's soccer team felt Ndiang's goal with just under 13 minutes left in regulation should have snapped a 1-1 tie instead of creating one after feeling the officials missed a goal scored by Riguen Ngenda in the 35th minute.
"We did score. It did go in the back of the net. It hit the net. I don't know how it wasn't a goal," Ross said. "It doesn't matter because it didn't count. It's what I told the guys at halftime. Yeah, okay, we scored a goal that didn't count. Who cares? We have to move on and we'll win the game 2-1."
Getting to 1-1 required persistence by the Warriors. Marshalltown (3-1-1) created most of their scoring chances during the first 20 minutes of each half and the first of two 10-minute overtime periods.
Indian Hills answered each time, creating a majority of the chances at the end of the first half and the end of regulation. The Warriors used the second and final overtime session to try and make their coach's halftime declaration come true, firing the final three shots of the match at the net.
"We knew when we came in that we were facing a highly-ranked team. That motivated us. We know we can play the game of soccer," Ndiang said. "We just played our game. It helps to play teams at this level. The game is a lot faster, so it makes you work really hard. I felt from the beginning that we were the stronger team."
Ndiang has prevented Indian Hills from suffering two losses in two home matches this year, having scored the tying goal with under three minutes left in regulation of a 2-2 season-opening draw with Southeastern. After pushing forward offensively for almost 15 minutes, it was Ndiang that finally put the ball past Marshalltown goal keeper David Giraldo clearly and definitively in the 78th minute.
"I tried to get shot off, it didn't go through, so I gave it back Sebastian (Grimaldi), got the ball back through the box and poked into the top of the goal," Ndiang said. "It's awesome. I try to stay ready when the coaches call for me to go in. I know what I can do. I just have to play to my ability to help the team. When the coaches call on me, I've got to stay ready to do my best and do anything I can to help us win."
Indian Hills (2-1-2) will hit the road on Saturday to face another top-ranked ICCAC rival. The Warriors face third-ranked Iowa Western (3-0) in Council Bluffs at 1 p.m.
"I can't ask any more from my kids," Ross said. "From the tight schedule to the travel. We don't have time to train because we need to give them rest. These aren't excuses. These are just facts.
"I don't want to play our best soccer at the beginning of the season. I want to be peaking into May. That's where we're headed. The kids are working hard. Great things take time. Rome wasn't built in a day. These kids are absolutely Warriors. They keep battling and battling. I'm fine with a 1-1 draw. The breaks aren't going our way at the moment, but at some point the tide is going to change."
Indian Hills 1, Marshalltown 1
MCC 1 0 0 0 — 1
IHCC 0 1 0 0 — 1
Marshalltown — Gabriel Diaz goal, 43:13
IHCC — Remerdie Ndiang goal, 77:03
Marshalltown: Total Shots — 16 (Guilherme Pereira 3, Logan Mahecha 2, Jhancarlo Palma 2, Hiroki Tsuda 2, Pedro Casado, Dias, Ricardo Junior, Yushi Nagao, Bryan Plata, Fumiya Shiraishi, Levi Vasconcelos). Total Saves — 4 (David Giraldo 4). Total Fouls — 17. Yellow Cards — 2 (Casado, Mahecha).
Indian Hills: Total Shots — 15 (Federico Belintende 2, Ronaldo Carvalho 2, Kanata Furutani 2, Shogo Koike 2, Leonardo Torcigliani 2, Seba Hererra, Ndiang, Riguen Ngenda, Takumi Semba, Rui Tsubakihara). Total Saves — 5 (Andrea De Marinis 5). Total Fouls — 19. Yellow Cards — 2 (Denis German Barcojo, Edin Ganic).