DES MOINES — For over 100 minutes on Monday, the Ottumwa boys soccer team played at an extremely high level against Waukee.
Thursday, the Bulldogs spent 40 minutes searching for that same level in their CIML Metro opener.
The Bulldogs quickly found that level in the second half at Des Moines North, turning a potential upsetting start to conference play into a runaway win. Danton Irelan and Cesar Botello each scored three of their four goals in the second 40 minutes as Ottumwa scored eight unanswered goals in a 10-1 rout of the Polar Bears Thursday at Grubb Stadium.
“We had to light a fire under them at halftime,” first-year Ottumwa head boys soccer coach Aaron Rose said. “We had to reorganize and get that mindset to have the same intensity that we had against Waukee.
“Overall, it was a wakeup call for our team that we need to get in there and do what we need to do or we could lose to a team that’s not up to our caliber of play.”
Irelan got the Bulldogs started on the path to a big night of goals, scoring just over five minutes into the contest off a pass from Denny Guido. However, 28 minutes would pass before Botello took another pass from Guido and scored to double the Bulldogs’ lead.
That 2-0 lead wouldn’t last long. Ulises Pineda scored for North just three minutes later to pull the Polar Bears within 2-1 at halftime.
“We just came into the game thinking we were above this team,” Rose said. “The first half showed if we play down to the level of who we’re playing, we can lose a game we should win big.”
“Once we got that fire lit, the guys started doing the easy things right.”
After a scoreless nine-minute stretch to begin the second half, Ottumwa poured in five goals over the next nine minutes. After Irelan put Ottumwa’s lead back up to two in the 49th minute, Botello scored back-to-back goals in the 51st and 56th minutes.
Irelan added another goal on a penalty kick a minute later, putting Ottumwa up 6-1. Osvaldo Trejo added his only goal in the 58th minute as the Bulldogs exploded for a six-goal lead.
Guido added a goal to go along with his four assist before Irelan and Botello finished the scoring as each scored their fourth goals in the final minutes. The duo also led Ottumwa with eight shots apiece.
The Bulldogs (6-3, 1-0) will be truly tested next week with four tough games over five days. Ottumwa hosts Southeast Polk on Monday, travels to traditional power Ankeny Tuesday and have consecutive nights of Metro conference action at Des Moines Roosevelt Thursday and at home against Des Moines Lincoln next Friday.
“We’ve got some big games and a big week coming up. It’ll really test our seniors to see if we can rise about the challenges and play at a top-grade level day in and day out,” Rose said.
OTTUMWA 10, DES MOINES NORTH 1
Ottumwa 2 8 — 10
DM North 1 0 — 1
Ottumwa — Danton Irelan goal (Denny Guido assist), 5:08.
Ottumwa — Cesar Botello goal (Guido assist), 33:00.
Des Moines North — Ulises Pineda goal, 36:00.
Ottumwa — Irelan goal (Guido assist), 49:00.
Ottumwa — Botello goal (Guido assist), 51:00.
Ottumwa — Botello goal, 56:33.
Ottumwa — Irelan goal (penalty kick), 57:00.
Ottumwa — Osvaldo Trejo goal, 58:00.
Ottumwa — Guido goal (Botello assist), 63:00.
Ottumwa — Irelan goal (Trejo assist), 68:00.
Ottumwa — Botello goal, 78:00.
Ottumwa: Total Shots — 38 (Botello 8, Irelan 8). Total Saves — 3 (Kevin Gonzalez 3). Total Fouls — 2.
Des Moines North: Total Shots — 3 (Sergio Pineda, U. Pineda, Sergio Romero). Total Saves — 15 (Noe Rodriguez 15). Total Fouls — 0.