OTTUMWA — The offense played great, but the defense struggled.
This is how Ottumwa soccer coach Aaron Rose summed up his team’s 4-3 loss to Des Moines East Monday.
“Our offense played a fantastic game ... Did very well with passes and touches,” Rose said. “All the let downs and all the breaks came from the defensive side.”
Before you could say goal, Bulldog Danton Irelan booted a shot into the left side of the net to put Ottumwa in front 1-0. The goal came less than a minute into the game. Ottumwa held their lead for about 10 minutes before East’s offense struck back. The Scarlets tied the game when Pepe Contreras blasted a shot into the left side of the net with 29:49 left in the half.
Several nice saves by Kevin Gonzalez prevented East from scoring any more in the first half.
Irelan fired a shot through the net with 1:51 left in the half, but the goal was called off because the Bulldogs were offsides. When halftime arrived the score remained tied at one.
About six minutes into the second half, Gonzalez made a great block on a kick Contreras fired at the net. The ball bounced right back to Contreras who took another shot at the goal only to have his shot stopped again by Gonzalez.
“They had some good shots on me and I did what I could do to help my team out,” Gonzalez said.
East finally broke through on offense when Carlos Smith booted a shot into the right side of the net to put his team up 2-1 with 23:17 left in regulation. Later on, Contreras got loose on a breakaway and slammed in another goal, extending his team’s lead to 3-1.
Ottumwa narrowed the Scarlets’ lead to one on an unusual goal: while facing the opposite side of the field, Irelan managed to kick the ball backward into the Scarlet’s net. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, East retook a two-point lead when Smith booted in a goal with about seven minutes remaining. Ottumwa cut the Scarlet’s lead back to one in the final two minutes when Osvaldo Trejo scored on a chip shot.
“[Des Moines] East capitalized on everything we did wrong,” Rose said. “It’s hard to bounce back as an offensive player when the defense has those breakdowns.
“They have a very, very well-tuned offensive side.”
The Bulldogs had to play without two of their key players for most of the night. Cesar Bottello sat out the game with an injury and Denny Guido didn’t play until about 10 minutes into the second half because of a personal matter, Rose said.
Ottumwa plays Albia Thursday at home on Senior Night and Monday they will get another shot at Des Moines East in the first round of Class 3A Substate.
Des Moines East 4, Ottumwa 3
DM East 1 3 — 4
OTT 1 2 — 3
OTT — Danton Irelan goal (.46)
DM East — Pepe Contreras goal (10:11)
DM East — Carlos Smith goal (56:44)
DM East — Contreras goal (64:44)
Ott — Irelan goal (69:59)
DM East — Smith goal (73:56)
Ott — Osvaldo Trejo goal (73:56)
DM East: Total Shots — (19). Total Saves — 6 (Arnaldo Valadez). Total Fouls — 0.
Ottumwa: Total Shots — 5, Total Saves — 15 (Kevin Gonzalez). Total Fouls — 1 (Hilario Chacon).