Iowa Western denies MCC a first-round regional bye

COUNCIL BLUFFS — A first-round bye waved bye-bye to the Tigers.

The Marshalltown Community College men’s soccer team saw its hopes of free advancement to the semifinals of the NJCAA Division I Region XI Tournament taken away by Iowa Western just four minutes into Sunday’s ranked showdown.

Matthew Woo Ling scored in the fourth minute and the No. 12 Reivers knocked off No. 9 MCC 1-0 in a rematch of the last two Region XI championships.

A win would have given the Tigers (12-2-0, 7-2-0) first place in the final ICCAC standings regardless of how Tuesday’s conference finale between Iowa Western (9-2-1, 7-1-0) and Hawkeye CC (8-7-0, 2-6-0) turns out. MCC held the tiebreaker with a head-to-head win over No. 11 Indian Hills (15-2-0, 8-1-0), but now the Warriors and Reivers will have first-round byes before hosting their semifinal contests on Oct. 31.

Marshalltown, meanwhile, will host Northeast (6-11-1, 4-5-0) in Saturday’s regional opener at 3 p.m. after being unable to score an equalizer against Iowa Western for the final 86 minutes of soccer.

“It was a tough game and we were unfortunate to give up an early goal,” said MCC assistant coach Chris Fuchsen. “Once Western scored, they sat back a bit more and defended well. We lacked the creativity to break down a disciplined defensive team.”

Woo Ling’s goal, assisted by Solomon Constant, was the only one of five shots on goal by the Reivers to get past MCC keeper Juan Gonzalez. But the Tigers managed only one shot on goal against Iowa Western’s Jan Hoffelner.

MCC and Iowa Western went 1-1-1 against each other last fall, with the Reivers winning a 1-0 contest in the Region XI final.