By ANDY HEINTZ Courier sports staff
---- — OTTUMWA — For the Ottumwa boys soccer team, it was a tale of two halves.
Unfortunately, neither half yielded a goal for the Bulldogs, and the boys fell to Des Moines Hoover 2-0 Monday.
After a strong first couple of minutes, the Bulldog offense went into a funk that lasted until the last couple of minutes of the first half. The Huskies capitalized on Ottumwa's offensive woes by scoring two goals to go up 2-0 by halftime.
Some credit for the Bulldogs offensive malaise goes to the Huskies, who relentlessly hounded the Bulldogs with double teams. The boys came out of their rut offensively in the final minutes of the first half as they began to attack Hooover's defense more aggressively.
The Bulldogs carried that momentum into the second half as they transformed their erratic first-half play into a much-improved offense that was more consistent and effective at getting shots on the goal.
"In the second half we decided to come with more pressure," Jose "Stitch" Leon said.
But despite a few great opportunities to get on the scoreboard, Ottumwa failed to put one in the goal. The boys' best chance to score arose on a penalty kick by Ottumwa's Ismar Argueta. Argueta blasted a nice kick that Papey Kruah headed into the net. The goal, however, was called off because one of the referees had whistled Kruah for offsides. Ottumwa soccer coach Aaron Rose said it was an iffy call that he didn't necessarily agree with.
"The biggest thing tonight is we just need players to find an unselfish attitude," Rose said. "We had a couple of opportunities where guys just become selfish. That comes down to whether or not the players do that. I can tell them over and over what to do, but until they do it, nothing is going to change."
The Bulldogs tied Grinnell 1-1 and lost to A-D-M 2-0 at a tournament Saturday at Pella. Bulldog Alfredo Gonzalez scored a goal on a penalty kick 50 minutes into Ottumwa's game against Grinnell. The Tigers' goal came in the first 20 minutes of play.
Ottumwa (3-5-2) plays Keokuk today at Wertheim Field.
DM Hoover 2, Ottumwa 0
Hoov 2 0 — 2
Ottu 0 0— 0
Hoover — Issac Moore 8:88
Hoover — Samed Devedzic 27:80.
Ottumwa: Total Shots — 11. Total Saves — 4 (Arny Perez 4)