ANKENY — Any other week, the Ottumwa boys soccer squad might have seen how their best players stack up against the best team in the state.
On this week, which will see the Bulldogs have just one day off, Tuesday’s test against the top-ranked Ankeny Hawks turned into a chance for several players to get plenty of time on the field for Aaron Rose’s squad.
With all of their starters sitting out, resting up for a pair of CIML Metro clashes later this week, Ottumwa hung tough with their second team for one half against the unbeaten Hawks. After trailing by just a goal at halftime, the Bulldogs tried to turn up their offensive pressure and fell to a barrage of second-half goals as Ankeny pulled away for a 7-0 win.
The effort by the Bulldog players on the field was one that made their first-year head coach.
“In all honestly, the second team for us played really well,” Rose said. “We had one or two breakdowns in the game, we switched to an attacking formation and we ended up getting countered on. We got out of our defensive mindset and the goals started to rack up.”
Ankeny also sat several starters with a pair of big CIML Iowa Conference clashes coming up. Two starters that did get several minutes showed their talents as Matt Adriano scored a pair of goals on a game-high eight shots with an assist while Chad Ford scored twice on six shots for the Hawks, who bounced back after suffering their first loss of the season Friday to Johnston.
Ottumwa (8-6) is back on the field to continue a stretch of six games in six days on Thursday. The Bulldogs head to Des Moines Roosevelt on Thursday before returning home to make-up a Metro clash with Des Moines Lincoln on Friday.
“The bigger picture is the conference in the second half of the week,” Rose said. “We want that conference title and we want the guys ready for those matches.”
Still, Rose would love to see how Ottumwa’s best players would ultimately match up with the best players on one of the state’s top teams.
“It didn’t work out that way, but maybe later in the postseason I’d love to see how our starting 11 would do against (Ankeny’s) starting 11. Then we’d see how two powerhouse teams would match up when they collide,” Rose said.
ANKENY 7, OTTUMWA 0
Ottumwa 0 0 — 0
Ankeny 1 6 — 7
Ankeny — Chad Ford goal, 20:12.
Ankeny — Marcus Barnham goal, 48:00.
Ankeny — Matt Adriano goal (Barnham assist), 53:00.
Ankeny — Alec Tonbmah goal (Adriano assist), 59:00.
Ankeny — Ford goal, 65:00.
Ankeny — Adriano goal, 69:00.
Ankeny — Cale Biehl goal, 73:00.
Ottumwa: Total Shots — 0. Total Saves — 17 (Arnie Perez 10, Giovanni Nuno 7). Total Fouls — 3.
Ankeny: Total Shots — 39 (Adriano 8). Total Saves — 0. Total Fouls — 6.