WATERLOO – Homestead senior Anthony Jiminez significantly improved his memories of playing at DeKalb.
Two years after breaking his left leg on the same field, Jiminez returned to the Barons’ home turf Monday and scored three times to lead the visiting Spartans to a 3-1 win.
It feels like payback, and hat tricks are always fun, Jiminez said. The last thing I will remember here is the hat trick, not the broken leg.
The last time on the field, Jiminez was again trying to score when DeKalb senior goalkeeper Chase Secrist, then a sophomore, came out to stop the shot and collided with Jiminez, also a sophomore at the time.
It was like one of my goals tonight, Jiminez said, recalling the play in 2011. It was around the 6, and he came out and got my legs. But we are friends, and we are cool now. I’m playing again, and I got him back with three goals.
Jiminez, who has 13 goals this year, was out of soccer for five months after breaking his leg.
It was a special night for Anthony, first-year Homestead coach Mike Houser said. It is a very touching spot for him to come back to, and it is nice place for him to get three goals.
Jiminez’s three goals kept the NHC title hopes alive for Class 2A No. 17 Homestead (8-1-3, 5-0 NHC). The Spartans play 2A No. 11 Carroll (11-0-3, 5-0) next Monday for the conference championship.
We were talking in warm-ups, and we said if we lose this one it’s basically Carroll’s conference (championship), Jiminez said. We are ready to have a good game against Carroll.
The big NHC matchup will be at Carroll.
It sets up a great battle, Houser said. This is one of our goals, and we got to it. Now we get to take on Carroll, and we are looking forward to it.
The three goals are only half of Jiminez’s career high of six for a single-game.
Jiminez scored his third goal early in the second half to give Homestead a 3-1 advantage.
Once we get going, we get going, Houser said. We had a minute or two in there, where we had a lapse but as far as our team we have some good attacking and some very good defending.
Two quick goals from Jiminez gave the Spartans a 2-0 lead early in the first half.
Travis Wyss picked up the assist on the first goal, and it was his shot that Jiminez rebounded and scored for the second goal.
We are usually a second-half team, and we usually wait to put pressure on teams, Jiminez said. It was really good that we could score first and lay back a little because it is always good to have a cushion like that.
The 2A No. 17 Barons (8-3, 2-3) got their lone goal from senior Landon Cochran in the first half. The assist went to his younger brother Brennan, a junior.