In the end, it was the details that ended up costing the Muscatine boys soccer team (4-4, 2-1) Monday night.
On the road at Davenport Assumption, Muskie coach Jose Varela felt his team dominated the second half and while it managed to even the score 1-1 on a second-half goal from senior Josh Hutton, the Muskies fell 3-1 in penalty kicks.
"I thought the boys played pretty well," Varela said. "We did a good job in the regular game. We controlled the second half and controlled both overtimes. Several balls bounced off the crossbar. We missed several opportunities and we should have finished the game off, but we weren't able to do it."
Varela was pleased with his team's effort while battling Assumption for 100 minutes through regulation and the first two overtimes on another evening that saw temperatures dip into the low 30s.
Only one thing was missing.
"I'm happy with the their effort during the game and the overtime sessions," Varela said. "What I thought we need to improve on, and we work on this every day, is your focus on the details. We had several opportunities where we could have put the game away and we didn't."
The Muskies missed two of their penalty kicks, a disappointment considering they work on them every day in practice.
"That's unacceptable for us," Varela said. "We'll get back to it and make sure that this is what we practice for so that when the situation arises, we are confident in what we do. We weren't able to do it tonight on the penalty kicks."
The focus now is first getting warm and then it's back to work again on the details in preparation for Muscatine's next match at home against Burlington on Friday.
"Always the details," Varela said. It's always the details that end up paying dividends. Today, we worked hard, we worked for 80 regular minutes and 20 overtime minutes. That's 100 minutes of running and unfortunately we couldn't pull it off at the end.
"But hey, we're back at it on Friday, and we hope we can improve and do better."