Tigers trip Tritons in overtime

Recent history between the Tigers and Tritons has provided 90 minutes – and sometimes more – of physical, intense and emotional soccer.

Tuesday’s match didn’t deviate from that script.

Overcoming a pair of second half scores from Iowa Central, Juan Carillo connected on the golden goal in overtime to send Marshalltown Community College to its fifth straight victory in a 3-2 thriller at home.

Outracing Tritons’ keeper Fernando Cortes to the ball, Carillo reeled in a through ball by Ralph Duopu and floated a shot into the net before the Tigers mobbed the freshman forward.

Carillo finished with two goals and an assist in the heated Iowa Community College Athletic Conference showdown between rivals as the Tigers (9-2-1, 5-1-0) moved within a half game of first place Iowa Western (11-0, 5-0), which comes to town Saturday.

“I told the guys in overtime, we’re going to go for everything,” said MCC coach Rafael Martinez of his team’s return to a more aggressive approach in the extra period.

“We’re not going to wait for them to play the game. We’re going to play our game and take it to them.”

Hugo Navarro’s 86th-minute equalizer – stemming from a scramble in the box off a direct kick – turned all the momentum to the Tritons (6-4-0, 3-2-0). Michael Mayberry gave Iowa Central a spark in the 60th minute, scoring off a midfield miscue by the Tigers, which employed a more conservative approach in the second half.

MCC’s initial aggression resulted in two goals within the first 10 minutes, though Martinez had seen enough early from Iowa Central’s attack to rein in his offense a bit after establishing the quick lead.

“Even in the first 10 minutes, they were close to having some very good chances,” Martinez said of the Tritons. “I decided to make some adjustments because I felt we were going to be safer that way. We were still going to be able to control the ball, but have more players in the back.”

The Tigers (9-2-1, 5-1-0), struck quickly in the first half with Carillo burying a goal off the crossbar in the 4th minute. Marcus Boehler set up the score from the right flank before centering the ball to help MCC claim a 1-0 lead. Five minutes later, Celes Vilar drilled a header into the net off Carillo’s corner kick from the right side, securing a 2-0 advantage at 9:47.

Tempers flared early and often as a total of eight yellow cards were handed out including two against Iowa Central coach Ben Taylor, who was ejected from the match in the 34th minute. The teams totaled 38 fouls with Iowa Central holding a 16-10 advantage in shots – including 11 in the second half. MCC held an 8-2 edge in shots on goal – though the Tritons converted on both of theirs.

After the Tritons knotted the score late, Martinez knew it was time to bring his team back to its first half mentality. Carillo and the rest of the Tigers were all on board.

“We were down as we were getting ready for overtime,” said Carillo. “We knew what worked in the first half and we could do it again to win the match.”

Tuesday’s match followed three heated affairs between the squads last season that resulted in an even 1-1-1 split. MCC won the last match, 3-2, in a Region XI semifinal after the squads played to a 2-2 double overtime draw in Marshalltown. MCC lost a 2-0 decision at Fort Dodge last year when five red cards were handed out to the Tigers.

“We had some mistakes in the second half, but we felt we should have won it,” said Boehler. “We laid back and kind of got a little bit lazy. If we go aggressive that whole time we do better. In the overtime we went harder.”

Martinez admitted his switch in strategy may have yielded some uneven results, though there was plenty that the Tritons did to help their own cause.

“You have to give credit to Iowa Central for the things they did well. There’s stuff we did wrong but I can’t take the credit away from them,” said Martinez. “What I like most is that in these situations of pressure, we step up. We stepped up against a very tough team.”

The Tigers will have to rise to the occasion again when they host NJCAA No. 3 ranked Iowa Western Saturday at 2 p.m. The Reivers won the first meeting this year, 3-0, in Council Bluffs on Sept. 11.


Juan Carillo was named the ICCAC Offensive Player of the Week Tuesday. He leads the Tigers with nine goals, while also sitting first in the ICCAC in assists (8) and points (26)MCC received votes in the latest NJCAA Division I poll, with the next set of rankings coming out today.