Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ottawa scores tough victory

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 10/9/2013

The Ottawa High School soccer team dug deep and played one of its top all-around matches Tuesday in a 2-1 win over Bonner Springs in Ottawa.

It was the fifth match in eight days for the Cyclones.

The Ottawa High School soccer team dug deep and played one of its top all-around matches Tuesday in a 2-1 win over Bonner Springs in Ottawa.

It was the fifth match in eight days for the Cyclones.

“It was a tough game,” Ottawa coach Daniel Nathan said. “I knew it would be a hard game. We took our chances and denied them theirs. They created a lot of chances. We adapted to injuries.”

Nathan made a coaching decision Monday to rest his starters against Paola to set them up for the other two matches this week. Especially after coming off a three-match week the prior week.

“Yesterday, we only got to play a half,” senior Brandon Church said. “It was a good coaches decision. We love playing the whole game.”

Ottawa gave supreme effort all over the field.

“I was really, really impressed with the guys with the way they played front to back,” Nathan said. “Alex [Stepp] made big saves. Our forwards put pressure on them. Our defenders worked hard all game.

“Everybody played well. Any slip up they would have punished us for it. Everybody carried their weight. It was awesome.”

Ottawa changed its game in the second after grabbing a 2-1 halftime lead.

“We should have finished a lot more in the first half,” Church said. “In the first half, we were getting a lot of shots on goal. The second half was fun. It was perfect. We slowed it down a little bit. It was a hard-fought victory.”

Nathan said, “The first half we lost moving the ball. The second half, we slowed the game down and tried to protect our lead. We switched defense in the second half. Everybody played their position well.”

Ottawa received goals from Vince Sylvester and Connor Stepp. Church assisted on both goals.

Ottawa (6-4) plays today at Spring Hill.

“We are moving on to Spring Hill, “ Church said. “We have a lot of talent.”

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