OTTAWA — Now that the weather has gotten nicer the past couple of weeks, teams are starting to make up games that were lost due to the cold spring.
That has games coming fast and furious, and it caught up with the Ottawa Lady Pirates girls soccer team on Tuesday night in a NIB 12 matchup with Morris.
The game against Morris was the Lady Pirates’ sixth since the team dropped a 7-1 decision against Geneseo one week before. One goal in the first half and two in the second helped the Lady Redskins to a 3-1 win at King Field.
The loss snapped a two-game Ottawa winning streak.
“We were a little tired,” said OHS coach Sean Porter. “We have played a lot of games in a short amount of days. The cold spring kind of put us in a bind with the schedule. I have to give a lot of credit to our girls.
"I know how sore they are and how tired they are. We had an away game in Rochelle (on Monday). We got home, went to school and had another tough game today. I know our month of April has been difficult, but we are doing our best to play with some integrity out here and give our best honest effort.”
Morris got on the scoreboard in the eighth minute when Lady Redskins senior Paige Valentine found another senior, Amanda Schmidt, who put a shot past Lady Pirate goalie Tanlee Eich for a 1-0 lead.
Ottawa found the equalizing goal just four minutes later in the 12th minute when the Falaney sisters dented the back of the net ,with big sister Kaitlin threading a pass to younger sister Abby, the latter rifling a shot past Lady Redskins goalie Erika Halcomb to knot the game at 1-1.
“It was very important that we equalized,” Porter said, “The farther you get into a deficit the harder it is to come back from it. That goal was great with the sister connection.
"We have been talking to Kaitlin about using her speed to beat a player on the side and to look up and find a white jersey to tap it home, and she did that. I don’t even think she had to look, she just knew she was there. That is just the connection she needed. It was a great finish.”
Morris (5-4-1 overall, 1-3 NIB 12), was able to put home two more in the second half to pull away for the win. Schmidt added her second goal of the game in the 45th minute on an unassisted tally for a 2-1 lead. Schmidt also helped out on the second goal in the 70th minute, as her pass found freshman Payton Lewis for the goal.
Schmidt ended the night with two goals and an assist.
“We calmed the kids down at halftime and collected ourselves,” said MHS coach Kristen Porter. “For the first 20 minutes of the game, we possessed the ball about 90 percent of the time. The second 20 minutes it was kind of a frenzy, and we were freaking out. We calmed them down. We marked No. 3 (Kaitlin Falaney) with a new girl, but calming our kids down at halftime really helped.”
The Lady Redskins outshot Ottawa (5-5-1, 2-3) 21-9 over the course of the match, with 14 of their shots being on target as opposed to just four for the Lady Pirates.
Eich was also called upon to make some huge saves for the Lady Pirates, as she stopped a shot that was blocked from an Ottawa defender by Karrina Riley, but Eich was there to gobble up the rebound before another Redskin was able to pounce on it.
Eich also made consecutive saves in the 30th and 32nd minutes off shots by Riley and Valentine.