The Ottumwa Courier


March 29, 2013

New Bulldog girls soccer coach ready for debut at Osky

OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa girls soccer team will try to avenge a season-ending loss when it kicks off its season Monday at Oskaloosa.

The Indians unceremoniously ended the  Bulldogs 2012 season when they bested Ottumwa 1-0 in the Class 2A, Region 6 quarterfinal at Oskaloosa.

It will be the Bulldogs first game under the tutelage of first-year coach Brett McKenzie, who was tapped to replace Lindsay Safranek, who guided Ottumwa to a 5-11 record last spring in what would be her first and only year as coach of the team.

To prepare his team for its first game, McKenzie, who will lead a program that turned out 38 players this spring, has leaned hard on the basics: Making good passes, fitness work, moving without the ball and working on communication skills.

“A lot of the little things that can help make you a better team,” McKenzie said.

But, above all else, the coach wants his girls to play as a cohesive unit.

“If we can work together as a team, we won’t have as many mistakes,” McKenzie said. “It will be easier to make passes and defend.”  

The coach said he will know a lot more about where his team is at right now after the match. Still, he’s identified some areas where his team has shown potential.

“I think we have some good team speed,” McKenzie said. “I think our defense is looking pretty good right now with its movement. Hopefully, we can use our speed to our advantage and be able to get behind the defense and score some goals.”

 The Bulldogs and Indians have developed quite the rivalry over the years — the past three games have ended in a 1-0 score, one in Ottumwa’s favor, two in Oskaloosa’s. The Indians mustered just enough offense to beat the Bulldogs the two times the teams met last season.

“They [Ottumwa and Osky] are fairly even talent-wise,” McKenzie said, “so it’s always a close game.

Although McKenzie and his players will have to find their way without their two 2012 CIML Metro All-league selections, forward Shayla Robinson and defender Katerina Berg, who both graduated last spring; the Bulldogs will return two players who received honorable mention honors in 2012: Juniors Kathy Lopez and Ginny Kjer.

McKenzie comes to Ottumwa armed with the experience and knowledge he acquired during his esteemed soccer career at Central College in Pella. In his four years with the Dutch, the Ottumwa coach established an impressive pedigree for himself, including, according to a press release, being named the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player in 2010 and being selected the team’s most valuable player for two straight years. His name is a common sight on the Dutch’s all-time individual lists: First in game winning goals since 1998 (15); second in shots on goal (114); and tied for second in game-winning goals in a season (five in 2007 and 2010).

McKenzie is a strong believer in the importance of work ethic, and, thus far, he’s been pleased with the effort the girls have expended at practice.

“When we need to put our nose to the grindstone,” McKenzie said, “we’ve worked hard. The girls have been really willing to listen and do what their supposed to be doing.”

Follow Andy Heintz on twitter at @heintz23.

Text Only
  • Flanders wins third-straight 400 for OHS URBANDALE -- Another meet and another 400-meter dash win for Ottumwa's Charlette Flanders. The Bulldog senior picked up her third-straight win in the one-lap race around the track on Thursday at Urbandale's Chuck Silvey Invitational. Flanders placed

    April 17, 2014

  • MSAE boys shut out Iowa City West IOWA CITY — The Fairfield Maharishi boys' tennis team picked up an impressive early-season shutout on Thursday, scoring a 9-0 win at Iowa City High. "From top to bottom, it was the team's best performance of the season," said MSAE head coach Steve Br

    April 17, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Sports Abbie Budan photo Bulldog linksters take third in Marshalltown MARSHALLTOWN — The Ottumwa girls golf team turned in a admirable performance Thursday, capturing third out of 14 teams at the Linda Bloom Invitational with a collective score of 377 strokes. "I think we played well pretty much from top to bottom," Ot

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Sports boys tennis color photo Ottumwa boys tennis dominates Des Moines Lincoln OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa boys tennis team looked a lot like domination Thursday at Dan Staggs Court, as they shut out Des Moines Lincoln 11-0 in CIML Metro Conference action. "It's early in the season and I can already see our team starting to grow," Ot

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Sports Marcus Posley photo IHCC's Posley signs with St. Bonaventure OTTUMWA — This past basketball season was one that saw Indian Hills rewrite the record books offensively. Of all numbers that stood out this season, none are more visible then the school-record number of made 3-pointers. Though it only reflects the n

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Packwood Little League Fundraiser to be held PACKWOOD — The Packwood Little League Hog Roast Fundraiser will be held on Saturday, April 26, from 5-6:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Packwood Christian Church. Four teams with over 40 kids participate in the Packwood Little League. The fundr

    April 17, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Sports Colin Pearson signs IHCC's Pearson signs with San Diego OTTUMWA — Indian Hills Community College golfer Colin Pearson is headed west to continue his education and golf career. The IHCC sophomore Wednesday signed a letter of intent with the University of San Diego. Pearson is coming off his best finish of

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Sports Area Girls Tennis photo Osky girl netters drop match to Tigers OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa’s Little Hawkeye Conference match with Grinnell came down to the final doubles match on a chilly day in Mahaska County. The Tigers’ duo of Lily Hamilton and Jackie Johnson pulled out the 6-3, 7-5 win over the Oskaloosa tandem of

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • On Tap Friday College Golf Indian Hills at Buena Vista Spring Invitational (Storm Lake) College Softball Southeastern at Indian Hills (DH), 3 p.m. College Baseball Indian Hills at Muscatine (DH), 3 p.m. Girls Golf Melcher-Dallas at Moravia, 4 p.m. Boys Golf Melche

    April 17, 2014

  • No Headline Provided Mustang Relays Bloomfield 04-15-14 Class AA team scores -- 1. Davis County 160, 2. Fairfield 159, 3. Pekin 34, 4. Keokuk 82. Boys Results Shot put -- 1. E. Adam (P) 50-8, 2. T. Northup (P) 41-6, 3. M. Fritz (FF) 38-7, 4. I. Hougland (DC) 37-4, 5. B.

    April 17, 2014

NCAA Tournament Scoreboard
Sports photo reprints