Thursday, October 02, 2014

OHS socceer snaps regional drought

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 10/30/2013

It was time to start a new tradition. The Ottawa High School boys soccer team won a regional match for the first time since 2008.

The Cyclones bested Louisburg, 1-0, Monday in a regional match in Ottawa.

It was time to start a new tradition. The Ottawa High School boys soccer team won a regional match for the first time since 2008.

The Cyclones bested Louisburg, 1-0, Monday in a regional match in Ottawa.

“We have never won a regional game since I was in high school,” senior captain Vince Sylvester said. “It was really nice.”

Fourth-year coach Daniel Nathan said the victory was big for the program.

“You have get it done,” he said.

Ottawa advances to the regional championship 3:45 p.m. today at Baldwin

Ottawa and Louisburg had split overtime victories in the regular season.

“It is always intense,” Sylvester said. “They are our arch-rivals. It was a good feeling to get redemption here. It is always physical when we play them. Clock was on our side in the second half.”

All three matches were tight and defensive-oriented.

“We had a plan and stuck to it,” Nathan said. “Our game plan was to create ... keep the pressure on them. Keep their chances to a minimum and take our chances.

“We had a lot of good chances. I wanted the midfield and defenders to come in and join the attack. Hayden [Yancey] came in and got a couple of shots. The plan worked.”

Sylvester said, “Our strategy is high pressure. We can keep them from setting up and keeping them on their heels. That is what we are about as a team.”

Nathan said the two teams are evenly matched and new each other well.

“We did very, very well,” he said. “The defense contained them and stopped them from going forward.”

Ottawa’s goal came with 30 minutes left in the second half by Connor Stepp. Brandon Church had the assist.

“Connor is always there to score the goal,” Sylvester said. “He has been our go-to guy this season. Once we did that, we were set. We played smart.

“That is what is going to win the game on Thursday. Encourage everybody to come out. It will be a good match.”

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