Tigers bury the pedal on GVU
Rafael Martinez flipped the right switch in his squad.
Dialing things back down proved a bit more difficult.
Though after Sunday’s performance, that’s an issue the Tiger head coach is more than happy to deal with.
Scoring three goals in a 6-minute span, the NJCAA Division I No. 15-ranked Marshalltown Community College men’s soccer team set the tone from the start in a 6-0 non-conference victory over the Grand View junior varsity.
“We talked about increasing the tempo and the intensity in the first five minutes so that we would focus on something specific instead of just saying, ‘Let’s go and bring it out,'” Martinez said. “I thought that helped. Right away we played our system, played our way, dominated the possession and dominated the field.”
John Krause tallied two goals off the bench and capped MCC’s three-goal barrage in the opening stanza as a 5-minute water break mid-way through the half seemed to be the only speed bump for the Tigers’ attack.
After an apparent goal by Andrew Valett was negated by an offside call in the sixth minute, Juan Carillo got things started by pouncing on a blocked shot by Roberto Velazquez in the 15th. Velazquez found the net just 65 seconds later, beating Vikings’ keeper Sean Giza one-on-one off a long through ball from Bill Baye.
The Tigers got behind the Grand View defense once again as MCC goaltender Julian Pena cleared a ball to Krause who had nothing but Giza in his path. Krause’s goal increased the lead to 3-0 in the 21st minute as tempers started to flare between the Vikings (0-1).
“Usually when you get a good lead at the start, people put their heads down,” said Krause, who raised his season point total to five. “That’s just the way we come out and play. You always want to get ahead just so you can have your head held high instead of down.”
With the temperature hovering around 90, a brief water break halted the action and momentarily slowed MCC’s momentum, though the Tigers (2-0) picked up where they left off in the second half.
Hoping to save his squad’s legs for three more games this week, Martinez opted to dial back the offensive attack a bit in the second half, though the intensity still ran just as high in his players.
“Obviously all of these players love to play. This is not their job, this is just their passion,” Martinez said of his club. “Regardless of what we said, ‘We need to save energy, stay together and help each other defensively,'” … Even though you say that, the players still bring out their style, their game and their intensity. That’s what makes me proud. I don’t have to tell the guys to run to the ball – they do it.”
Ralph Duopu bent a shot inside the left post off a cross from Marquell Comer in the 59th minute, and after a second water break, Krause added his second goal of match after outhustling a Viking defender and recollecting his own miss in the 77th. Seven minutes later, Baye added his second assist with another long ball, which Marcus Boehler sent through the net for the final margin.
The Tigers were coming off a slow start in their season debut, a 2-0 victory over Luther College Thursday, and were also out to avenge a 2-2 draw against these same Vikings in their preseason opener Aug. 10.
MCC fell into a 2-0 hole in that first match in Des Moines, though the Tigers never let the Vikings get comfortable in the second affair.
“That’s the way we should start every game. We put teams under pressure,” Velazquez said. “Once we scored, we knew we had them against the ropes.”
The Tigers kept the pressure on both Grand View goaltenders all night, firing 24 shots – 19 on goal – while limiting the Vikings to six shots, with just two on target. Giza made 13 saves for Grand View, while Pena and Andrew Waterfall each had one. Pena played nearly 60 minutes in goal as MCC fired 13 shots in the opening half and 11 in the second.
Martinez hopes Sunday serves as a preview of what the Tigers can accomplish when firing on all cylinders.
“I told them at the end, ‘With this intensity, this enthusiasm, this passion – we can build, we can go far'” Martinez said.
The Tigers host 2011 NJCAA Division I national champion Cloud County CC Wednesday at 4 p.m. The Thunderbirds (1-0) defeated Johnson County CC, which received votes in the NJCAA Division I preseason poll, 5-4 in their season debut. MCC travels to the Minnesota Kickoff Classic in Rosemount, Minn., where they’ll face College of Lake County (Ill.) Friday at 3 p.m. and Anoka-Ramsey CC (Minn.) Saturday at 3:30 p.m. … Sophomore striker Andrew Valett had a slight limp in his step after sustaining a hard tackle late in the second half. He left the match a few minutes later and had ice on his right ankle after the game, though Martinez expects him to be back for Wednesday’s match against Cloud County CC. The Tigers will also welcome back freshman midfielder Celes Villar when they host the Thunderbirds. Villar has missed the first two regular season matches while recovering from an injury in a scrimmage.