The #14 MCC Men's Soccer team hosted the #5 Warriors of Indian Hills on a cold and windy Wednesday afternoon. Both teams have star power on their roster with MCC's starting forward Kino Ryosuke and Indian Hills star forward Akean Shackleford. Both players are in the top ten in goals this season and are at the top of the ICCAC in most offensive categories. The two teams battled for 90 minutes and in the end, the Tigers were able to seal the upset in a hard fought 2-1 game.
Both teams play in a clean and efficient system that makes it hard for the other team to control the ball and both teams had multiple shots on goal. MCC goalkeeper, Juan Gonzalez, recorded four saves and gave up one goal on the day while Indian Hills goalkeeper, Ross Dalton had six saves but gave up two goals.
The Warriors struck first in the first half when Akean Shackleford found the back of the net in the thirty-fifth minute of play. The Warriors held the lead going into half time and most of the second half before the Tigers finally got on the board. In the seventy-second minute of play, Rafael Vacas made a run and found the net.
"I was so happy to see that ball go in the net, being the equalizer was important but the goal was a team effort and the credit goes to everyone." Stated Vacas after the game.
With momentum on the Tigers side, they continued to put pressure on the Warriors defense, spending the majority of the final twenty minutes by the Warriors net. In the eighty-fourth minute, Roger De la Villa was able to put the ball in the net to take the lead with only six minutes left.
Roger de la Villa commented on the winning goal after the game, "I haven't scored a lot of goals this season and I have been working really hard in practice to get better at that. Scoring the game winner in that game, against that team has made that hard work worth it."
As time ticked off the clock, the Tigers worked to control the ball and extend long plays. As the final second ran off the Tiger bench exploded in cheering and excitement.
"It was a really hard game, the work we have been doing in practice showed tonight on the field. Stated Rafael Vacas, "It was really satisfying to finally accomplish what we have been working on for so long, Indian Hills is a game we had circled early on and we look forward to playing them every year."
After the match Coach Fuchsen stated, "This was an excellent team performance tonight, we fought like hell to battle back from ta goal down to level the match then the guys kept the intensity high, the focus sharp, and played disciplined enough to go and win the game, couldn't be prouder of the team performance tonight."
The Tigers are now 11-1 on the season and 6-1 in the conference. The Tigers will be back in action of Saturday when they host Northeast Community College at 2:00. Northeast is currently 2-2-7 on the season. The Saturday game will also be the Tigers sophomore day. The sophomores will be recognized just prior to the start of the game. For more information about Tiger athletics visit mccahletics.com.