Coming off a pair of 5-0 routs on the road, the first half of Marshalltown Community College's match with North Iowa Area CC appeared to be headed toward a similar result.
Dominating in possession, 50-50 balls and scoring opportunities, the Tigers did just about everything to show they were the superior squad. It just wasn't reflected on the scoreboard.
Spotting his team an early advantage before connecting on the game-winner in the 82nd minute, MCC freshman Juan Carillo continued his scoring spree to help the Tigers evade the Trojans 2-1 in Iowa Community College Athletic Conference action Tuesday.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
Marshalltown Community College freshman Juan Carillo, center, is mobbed by teammates Marcus Boehler (2), Celes Vilar (facing) and John Krause (20) after his first-half goal against NIACC at home Tuesday. Carillo finished with two goals, while Boehler and Vilar each had an assist in the 2-1 victory.
"We controlled the game well, we moved the ball well and we created those scoring opportunities - we just have to put the ball in the net," said MCC coach Rafael Martinez.
"We had two or three very good chances in the first half. If we score on those the game changes completely. When you don't and the other team sees an opportunity, they keep fighting and fighting. They believe, which is so important in this game. We have to do a better job of putting the game away (sooner)."
Carillo, who was named the ICCAC Offensive Player of the Week for the third straight week prior to the match, put MCC (12-3-1, 8-2-0) on top at 11:56 on a cross from Celes Vilar. Carillo made a sliding right-footed stab just outside the goal area, which slipped into the right side of the net.
Marshalltown CC 2, North Iowa Area CC 1
MCC - Juan Carillo (Celes Vilar), 11:56
NIACC - Matthew Stewart, 61:40
MCC - Carillo (Marcus Boehler), 81:34
Shots - MCC 25, NIACC 8
Shots on goal - MCC 10, NIACC 4
Corner kicks - MCC 14, NIACC 2
Fouls - MCC 15, NIACC 8
Offsides - MCC 3, NIACC 2
Yellow cards - Yohan Chiman, NIACC, 67:55
The Tigers continued to apply pressure though NIACC goalkeeper Nathan Spores turned away eight shots to keep the Trojans (3-9-0, 2-7-0) within reach.
MCC earned sizable advantages in shots (25-8), shots on goal (10-4) and corner kicks (14-2), though its one-goal lead continued to give the Trojans hope until they tied it in the 62nd minute on Matthew Stewart's rocket from the right side.
"We did not put the game away right away and that's what allowed (NIACC) to come back," said Martinez.
"What I liked is that we kept playing our style and continued to create chances."
The Tigers capitalized on one of those late chances when Marcus Boehler quickly restarted play off a free kick and centered the ball. Carillo took the pass and swiveled through a couple Trojans before pinpointing a shot just inside the right post to secure the win for MCC.
Tallying three or more points in three straight games, Carillo is tied for first in the nation with seven game-winners, while also leading the ICCAC in points (38). He is tied for the conference lead in goals (14) and assists (10).
Martinez said its no coincidence that Carillo has found the back of the net so many times - especially late in the match.
"He's one of those guys that's never going to give up," said Martinez.
"He's always going to keep fighting and that's why he scores so many goals - because he's so strong mentally, he never gives up and he's competitive."
Martinez said Carillo's success hinges on the play of his teammates and vice versa. The rest of the Tigers followed their leading scorer's mentality as Julian Pena made a couple diving stops late and finished with four saves in goal. MCC's backline - including Bill Baye, Jordan Gilmore, Marquell Comer and Jaime Agujetas - has helped the Tigers post the second best average (.094) in the conference. The Tigers have given up just six goals in the past four matches.
While MCC would have liked to put the final decision out of the question much earlier, the Tigers also saw the benefit in playing another close match.
"It shows that us that we can fight back through adversity," said Carillo.
MCC hosts Indian Hills CC in their regular season home finale Saturday at 2 p.m. The Tigers won the previous match 10-0 in Ottumwa on Sept. 25.