DES MOINES — After suffering their first four losses in a three-day span, the Ottumwa boys soccer team needed 52 minutes to knock off the rust of a five-day layoff.
In their CIML Metro Conference opener on Thursday, the Bulldogs battled through a scoreless first half at Des Moines Lincoln. Ottumwa finally broke through for their first go-ahead goal in three weeks when David Ayala scored in the 52nd minute of the match.
The Bulldogs added two more goals over the next 23 minutes. T.J. Brechon snapped a 1-1 tie in the 63rd minute and Cesar Botello’s goal just 12 minutes later gave the Bulldogs a cushion in a 3-1 win over the Railsplitters on the first day of Ottumwa’s four-day spring break.
“You’re always wondering how the boys will come out on a day when you don’t have school,” Ottumwa boys soccer coach Jeff Ebling said. “The boys were very focused coming up here and it showed. Unlike Saturday, where we had to play three games, knowing you’ve got just one game to focus on really helped.”
After going without a goal for 52 minutes, both teams scored within four minutes of each other. The Bulldogs had their chances earlier then that, however, missing on several shots early in the match.
“The first half was just rough, but rather then putting our heads down the guys came back and kept firing away,” Ebling said. “Getting off to a winning start in conference play is really big for us moving forward.”
Saucedo led Ottumwa with four of their 14 shots while Casper Jensen made all 13 saves for the Bulldogs. Ottumwa (3-4, 1-1) is back in action on Monday at Waukee.
Ottumwa 3, Des Moines Lincoln 1
Ottumwa 0 3 — 3
Lincoln 0 1 — 1
Ottumwa — David Ayala goal (Denny Guido assist), 52:00.
Des Moines Lincoln — Goal, 56:00.
Ottumwa — T.J. Brechon goal (Stefen Kotulla assist, 63:00.
Ottumwa — Caesar Saucedo goal (Angelo Kelly assist, 75:00.
Ottumwa: Total Shots — 14 (Saucedo 4, Guido 3, Kelly 2, Ayala 2, Brechon 2, Kotulla). Total Saves — 13 (Casper Jensen 13).