MASON CITY – The NIACC men’s soccer team fought its way to a 4-4 record in the early part of the season, but Trojans coach Jonathan Platt knows that the back half of the season will be very important for the Trojans.
On Saturday, the Trojans played host to Iowa Central in a contentious match of vastly different styles.
The Tritons took advantage of windy conditions to forge a 2-0 lead and held off a game Trojan effort down the stretch for a 2-1 victory.
“Unfortunately, they got that breakaway goal,” Platt said. “I think we played much better into the wind in the second half, which is good going forward.”
Both teams were aware of a brisk east wind that favored the west side of the field, but NIACC was unable to take advantage of that wind over the opening 45 minutes as the Tritons put together a solid defensive effort.
Iowa Central put away a goal after just 2:08 of the first half, and while NIACC managed several shots on goal over the remainder of the half, none of them found the range.
Andrew Vance of the Tritons scored a breakaway goal early in the second half before Jack Doyle connected for the Trojans with 26:20 remaining in the contest.
In part because of a much more physical style of play, NIACC was able to largely keep play on the Iowa Central side of the pitch for much of the remainder of the match, but the Trojans could not sneak in a game-tying goal.
Again, because of the differences in style, the contest was marred by several injury stoppages.
“At this stage, the big focus is on winning,” Platt said. “We need to convert our chances.”
NIACC (4-5) returns to action on Wednesday when it travels to St. Peter, Minn. For a match against the Gustavus Adolphus junior varsity.
The Trojans return home on Oct. 11 when they play host to Scott Community College.