GLEN DALE - For the second consecutive game, John Marshall's boys' soccer team was able to earn a lead after the initial 40 minutes of play Tuesday afternoon.
Unfortunately, for the second straight time, the Monarchs tasted defeat in the final 10 minutes.
Junior Austin Litman recorded a first-half hat-trick to help give John Marshall a one-goal advantage. However, Indian Creek controlled the game and eventually won in the second half, pulling out a 4-3 victory against the Monarchs at John Marshall High School.
Both teams had been looking to reach the victory column for the first time this season with Coach Jonathan Hoover's Redskins improving to 1-3 and Brian Noble's hard-luck Monarchs dropping to 0-5.
It was the visitors taking control early on, when Creek had a shot carom off the top post, followed by a quick save by keeper Collin Stipetich on a second effort before senior Ian Gambill blasted a third try past a diving Stipetich with 37:54 showing to make it 1-0.
The count remained the same until the 30:13 mark when Litman's free kick from deep in the box slid pas Paul Stephen, and a wall of Redskins defenders, to even things up.
Litman then gave the hosts their first lead of the day at 2-1 when he stole the ball and knocked a shot in from close range with 11:57 to go in the half. That was answered by Creek's Jared Conn at 4:41 on a shot that went off the hands of backup keeper Kyle Patrick after Stipetich had left with an injury.
For the second time in the half it was Litman giving the Monarchs the upper-hand, this time with 2:06 to play with a high ball into the back corner of the net on an assist from Justin Horan that made it a 3-2 game.
However, the second half belonged almost entirely to the Redskins, who possessed the ball for much of the 40 minutes, but were only able to get off four shots, two of which made their way past Stipetich, who had returned.
The tie came at 25:12 on Gambill's second goal of the game, this one ricocheting off the top post to make it 3-3. The game-winner came at 7:27 when Conn kicked in his second goal of the day to send Indian Creek to the winner's circle for the first time.
"We practice execution all the time," Hoover said. "But it is up to them to go out and actually do it. "Our biggest problem is finding our shooting touch and getting it going early on.
"Fortunately we were able to turn it up a notch in the second half and good things started happening for us."
Noble, meanwhile, was happy with his team's effort, but is still looking forward to getting over some injuries and being able to put his full team on the field.
"The injuries really hurt us and we are playing with some subs right now," Noble said. "But these kids go out every day and bust their butts. Our defense played well in the second half, and we are taking better shots, but we have to get more.
"Austin did a great job putting the ball into the net in the first half, but we need to get him some support."
While John Marshall returns to action Thursday at Brooke, Hoover takes his team to Columbus on Saturday for a 1:15 p.m. contest against Van Buren in a game that will be played at Columbus Crew Stadium. Admission is free.