An impressive opening weekend would have been forgotten had the Tigers not showed up for the second half of Tuesday's home opener.
The Marshalltown Community College men's soccer team fired out from the intermission and made certain to follow up its trip to the Twin Cities with a convincing victory, finishing off Scott CC with three goals after the break for a 4-0 triumph in Iowa Community College Athletic Conference play.
The host Tigers (3-0-1, 1-0-0) returned home from the Minnesota Kick-Off Tournament with two wins in three matches. Even the draw against NJCAA Division III No. 4 Anoka-Ramsey CC felt like a victory, head coach Rafael Martinez said.
T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE
Marshalltown Community College’s Kevin Guerrero, left, and Dionis Serrano of Scott Community College converge on a pass across midfield during the second half of Tuesday’s ICCAC men’s soccer match in Marshalltown. The Tigers won 4-0.
"Even though we tied, we felt we were much more superior than the other team," he said. "The attitude was great (in Minnesota), that's why I was so disappointed about today. We knew what we needed to do to be successful at the tournament and we did it. We accomplished the goals that we had, which were to continue developing our style, continue developing our players, getting them to know each other and be more compact.
"I think we accomplished that, so I think it was a great start to the season, but I was just not very happy with the first half (Tuesday)."
The Tigers swept Scott by a combined 9-2 in last year's conference meetings, which may have had something to do with the team's bus lag back home to Marshalltown. MCC's only first-half tally came from reserve forward Kevin Guerrero, who converted a corner kick from Joao de Olivera in the 32nd minute.
"It was really one of few shots we had on goal so we were lucky to get that first goal I guess," said Martinez.
Lucky? Maybe. Content? Nope.
"I think our attitude was just really bad," Martinez added. "I'm not going to make excuses, I think it was just poor attitude. I told our players at halftime we had to bring that desire to play the game. It's a game they've been playing since they were kids and we should not waste a minute.
"I think they saw it too. In the second half we brought a much better attitude and I think that made the difference."
Ignacio Bello scored on an assist from Philip Zeon to give MCC an added margin in the 54th minute.
Roberto Velazquez had a goal and an assist in the second half, scoring in the 64th minute to make it a 3-0 and then providing the pass on Bruno Liozzi's goal in the 82nd minute.
They were the finishing touches that Martinez was looking for against an improved squad from Scott (1-2, 0-1).
If nothing else, Martinez said, his team's defense in the midfield was where it needed to be to prevent the visiting Eagles from mounting much of an attack from the opening whistle.
The Tigers' style will be put to the test again on Saturday, as nationally ranked NIACC comes to Marshalltown for a 2 p.m. conference clash. The Trojans (0-3) are rated 13th in NJCAA Division I.
"I think they'll come ready to play against us," Martinez said. "We always have good games against them so I'm looking forward to that. I think it'll be a good match and a competitive one."