By Courier sports staff
---- — ALBIA — Shadow Leshen scored two goals to lead the Albia boys soccer team to a 4-1 win over Ottumwa Thursday.
Leshen's goals, which both came off assists from Ethan Gray, occurred within the first 10 minutes of the contest.
"Early on we were able to dominate the midfield," Blue Demon coach Gary Gravert said. "Ethan Gray made some great moves and Shadow did a nice job of being patient and putting the ball in the goal."
Ottumwa's first half output wasn't helped by the fact that one of its starters, Greig Duo, was forced to take an early exit when he was served with a red card after he got two yellow cards in the half.
Trailing 2-0, the Bulldogs decided to shake things up.
"We switched to a more offensive formation," Ottumwa boys soccer coach Aaron Rose said.
The Bulldogs tightened things up defensively for the rest of the half, not yielding another goal to the Blue Demons for the rest of the half. Gravert said Ottumwa had his squad on its heels in the last 10 minutes of the half.
The Bulldogs were finally able to break through about 20 minutes into the second half when Carlos Molina scored on a beautiful kick from about 25 yards out.
"It was just a rifle; a nice shot," Rose said.
The goal, however, seemed to reinvigorate the Blue Demons.
"When they scored, we responded very well and really stepped it up and really won a lot more balls in the midfield area," coach Gravert said.
Albia's Tanner Kellogg scored off an assist from Anthony Tuttle less than four minutes after Molina's goal to give the Blue Demon's a 3-1 lead. Later on, Gray capped off his strong offensive performance with what would end up being the last goal of the night to put Albia ahead 4-1.
"He's an all-around great player," Gary Gravert said about his player. "He's got all the tools on offense: Passing, dribbling and shooting."
Albia (10-2) plays the winner of a game between Bondurant-Farrar and PCM Wednesday at home in the Class 1A substate semifinals. Ottumwa (6-8-1) plays at 7 p.m. at Des Moines Roosevelt today.
Albia 4, Ottumwa 1
Ottu 0 1 — 1
Albia 2 2 — 4
ALBIA — Shadow Leshen goal (ethan gray assist) 3:50.
ALBIA —Leshen goal (E. Gray assists) 6:45.
OTTU— Carlos Molina goal, 60:34.
ALBIA — Tanner Kellogg goal (assist Anthony Tuttle), 64:12.
ALBIA — Ethan Gray goal, 71:23.
OTTUMWA : Total Shots — 15 (Papey Kruah 3, Carlos Molina 3). Total Saves — Arny Perez (Perez 3). Total Fouls — 5.
ALBIA: Total Shots — 10 (Ethan Gray 4). Total Saves — 10 (Gabe Gravert 10). Total Fouls — 8.