Courier Staff Writer
Arny Perez and penalty kicks had a lot to do with the last win for the Ottumwa boys soccer victory.
So when 100 minutes of soccer wasn't enough to decide things Thursday between the Bulldogs and Oskaloosa at Eric Wertheim Field, nobody was feeling more confident then the young goalie whose key stop of Roan Bacher helped lift Ottumwa to a 2-0 victory nine nights earlier against Fairfield.
Five rounds and four goals later, Perez could hardly be blamed for being slightly less enthusiastic as Oskaloosa junior Brett Ewing lined up his shot to keep the Indians alive in what was now a sudden death sixth round of penalty kicks. Still, Perez was as ready as ever to come through for his team and set off a huge celebration with a huge save.
Perez would get half of his wish. Ewing missed the goal wide left to give the Bulldogs a 5-4 penalty kick shootout win after the two teams finished the match tied at 2-2.
Perez collapsed as the ball sailed wide, but it wasn't because of exhaustation or relief. It was more out of slight frustration.
"I work on penalty kicks all the time. I'm usually so good at them and I just couldn't understand why I couldn't stop them," Perez said after giving up four of six goals in the shootout. "I was still ready to make the big save because that's what my team needed. I was really hoping I'd have the chance to make that save when I saw that last ball go wide."
Perez, however, was the first guy to smile about the fact that Ottumwa was back on the winning track after losing two tough games to fellow 3A competition. Since scoring the 2-0 win over Fairfield back on April 16, the Bulldogs had dropped a 2-1 loss at West Des Moines Valley and were shutout earlier this week at Wertheim Field against Waukee.
"We really needed this one. We've played some really tough teams recently. It felt good to get this win," Perez said.
"I'm happy for the 'W,'" Bulldog boys head soccer coach Aaron Rose added. "The boys practice penalty kicks like crazy, especially Arny. I'm not sure why he struggled as much as he did with them, but we stuck with it and found a way to get it done in the end."
The main key to Ottumwa's success was offensive aggressiveness, which would serve them well throughout the entire match. Right from the start, the Bulldogs took the ball right at Oskaloosa's net and put Indians' senior goal keeper Logan Ridenour to the test early and often.
Nobody benefitted more from that attack then Osvaldo Trejo. Having scored only one goal all year long, Trejo was the only Bulldog player to put the ball past Ridenour as a pair of goals helped stake Ottumwa to a pair of one-goal leads.
"(Oskaloosa's) defense was pretty weak and we could beat them on runs all day," Trejo said. "That's what we did on the first goal (in the 14th minute). We gave ourselves a lot of opportunities early. It was finally nice to put one home."
Oskaloosa, however, answered back both times in both halves. Jakob Hartl's header off a Jonah Renter corner kick tied the score at 1-1 going into halftime then, after Trejo scored off an Osky defender midway through the second half, Adam Genskow tied the score beating Perez on a breakaway in the 69th minute of the match.
Both teams narrowly missed chances late in regulation and in the first 10 minutes of overtime, but it was Ottumwa that kept attacking in the last 10 minutes. Oskaloosa survived the attacks and got into the shootout, where the back and forth action resumed as the teams traded goals through the first two rounds before Scottie Yang missed on Osky's third attempt in the five-person rotation.
With the door open to take a commanding two-goal lead, Ottumwa's Grieg Duo missed wide himself on the Bulldogs' fourth try. Osky tied things back up as the shootout moved past the first five shooters into a sixth round, where Trejo was called upon again to break the tie.
"I had done throughout the game. I just stepped up and put it in," Trejo said of his goal that went past Ridenour after the Osky goalie beat Perez to extend the shootout. Perez then returned to the goal to face Ewing with a second chance to end the contest.
"When (Ridenour) took that shot, I didn't know what to expect next," Perez said. "I've never taken a penalty kick before. I just put my hands where I thought the shot was going to be. I looked up and the ball just kept sailing away."
The loss snaps a three-game winning streak for Oskaloosa (3-5) who hosted Centerville on Friday after the heartbreaking loss. The Indians head to North Polk Tuesday while Ottumwa (4-3) play three games this weekend at Saturday's Tulip Time Tournament in Pella.
"We've got three big games coming up this weekend, but we're definately feeling a lot better about our chances after getting this one," Rose said.
Ottumwa 2, Oskaloosa 2 (Ottumwa wins on penalty kicks 5-4)
Oskaloosa 1 1 0 0 — 2 (4)
Ottumwa 1 1 0 0 — 2 (5)
Ottumwa — Osvaldo Trejo goal (Jose Leon assist), 13:12.
Oskaloosa — Jakob Hartl goal (Jonah Renter assist), 26:40.
Ottumwa — O. Trejo goal (Guilermo Trejo assist), 53:52.
Oskaloosa — Adam Genskow goal (Skyler DeJong assist), 68:07.
Ottumwa — Thien Dienh goal.
Oskaloosa — Renter goal.
Ottumwa — Charlie Altfillisch goal.
Oskaloosa — Ben Rurup goal.
Ottumwa — Ismar Argueta goal.
Oskaloosa — Scottie Yang miss.
Ottumwa — Grieg Duo miss.
Oskaloosa — Nick Waters goal.
Ottumwa — G. Trejo goal.
Oskaloosa — Logan Ridenour goal.
Ottumwa — O. Trejo goal.
Oskaloosa — Nick Ewing miss.
Oskaloosa: Total Shots — 10 (Renter, Genskow, Waters 2). Total Saves — 17 (Ridenour 17). Total Fouls — 2.
Ottumwa: Total Shots — 19 (Papey Kruah 5). Total Saves — 2 (Arny Perez 2). Total Fouls — 8.