OTTUMWA, Iowa — The Cloud County Community College men's soccer team dictated most of the action in Sunday's matchup against No. 12 Indians Hills Community College, but had its struggles cashing in on scoring opportunities end up biting them in a 2-1 road loss to the Warriors.
"You could tell our legs were a little tired from playing (Saturday) and Indian Hills had Saturday off and were rested. But I thought we played fantastic soccer, especially in the first half," said Cloud County head coach, Charles Long. "I was proud of the boys' effort."
Cloud County (1-3 overall), which played most of the afternoon without three starters due to injuries or rest on the final day of the back-to-back, saw positive signs that the offense is close to breaking out.
The T-Birds produced 16 shots after being limited to four shots in Saturday's 2-0 loss to No. 19 Marshalltown Community College.
"We produced a ton of scoring chances, had a few shots go off the post and Indian Hills goalkeeper made a couple of really good, point-blank saves," Long said. "It's frustrating not to score, and the longer you go without scoring the harder it is. But the boys' attitudes are good and once we start scoring, things will click."
Freshman forward Jean-Piere Dasylva got Cloud County on the scoreboard first 11 minutes into the second half with his second goal of the season.
Unfortunately, the momentum was short-lived as Indian Hills (1-1-1 overall) answered back with the equalizer just 90 seconds later, then took the lead at the 23:40 mark of the second half on a goal from Gustavo Barraso.
The T-Birds nearly tied the game in the final 30 seconds of regulation, but had the potential game-tying shot sail just over the crossbar.
In net, sophomore goalkeeper Charles Albuquerque finished with seven saves on his nine chances.
Cloud County will now turn its attention toward the KJCCC West portion of its schedule, starting with a 4 p.m. home game against Hesston College on Wednesday.
While disappointed the T-Birds left Iowa without a win, Long believes the grueling back-to-back against a pair of nationally ranked foes will be a benefit for the team as they take aim at a third consecutive KJCCC West title.
"I know the conference schedule isn't going to be a walk in the park. We'll have tough competition in conference too and this weekend has helped us prepare for those tough games," Long said. "We've been tested early and in every game we've played so far, which is good. It'll help us down the road as we continue to develop."