By ANDY HEINTZ
Courier sports writer
---- — OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa girls soccer team scored a convincing 4-0 victory over Des Moines North Thursday at Eric Wertheim Field in CIML Metro action.
From start to finish, the Bulldogs were in complete control of this one. Daylin Latham, Kathy Lopez and Veronica Gonzalez provided Ottumwa with its four goals. Latham booted in two goals in the first 20 minutes put Ottumwa up 2-0. She dribbled past a Polar Bear defender before she tapped in her first goal and she chipped in an extremely difficult shot from the left side while being surrounded by Polar Bear defenders on her second goal.
"It was in traffic and I was lucky that I chipped it over their heads," Latham said. "Tonight I just went out and played my game and relaxed and actually got some goals."
Later on, Kathy Lopez got knocked down near the Polar Bears' goal by a defender, which induced the referee to blow his whistle and give Ottumwa a penalty shot. Lopez's shot was good, catching the left side of the net and upping the Bulldogs' lead to 3-0.
Ottumwa continued to assert control over the action in the second half, as the Polar Bears struggled to get much going on offense. The Bulldogs defense was stifling, especially in the second half, providing Ottumwa goalkeeper Averi Cash with a very relaxing day in front of the net.
"It was basically that we stayed connected," Ottumwa defender Ginny Kjer said. "We did a lot of teammwork and we connected with the offense. It was basically a team effort."
Ottumwa's possession-oriented dominance thrived because of a combination of good passing and stingy defense. About 15 minutes into the second half, the Bulldogs got on the scoreboard again. This time Veronica Gonzalez scored on a beautiful shot from the right side that sailed into the net and extended Ottumwa's lead to 4-0.
"We had about a full five days of practice [before the game] so I think it really helped to get some time to work on some shooting and work on some drills to help us improve," Ottumwa girls coach Brett McKenzie said. "We were focused for the whole 80 minutes, which was important and I think it showed in our play."
The girls (4-7) play at Indianola today.
Ottumwa 4, Des Moines North 0
North 0 0 — 0
Ottum 3 1 — 4
Ottumwa — Daylin Latham goal, 7:85.
Ottumwa — Latham goal, 18:65.
Ottumwa — Kathy Lopez goal, 34:00.
Ottumwa — Veronica Gonzalez goal, 54:57.