Robinson takes the reigns of Ottumwa girls soccer program

Shayla Robinson instructs members of the Ottumwa High School girls soccer team during practice at Eric Wertheim Field.

OTTUMWA – Former Ottumwa High School soccer player Shayla Robinson assumes the reigns of the Bulldog girls' soccer program in 2021 following three years as an assistant in the program.

Robinson looks to improve on the 3-13 record the Bulldogs last compiled during the 2019 season. The 2020 season was shut down before it could begin due to COVID-19.

Robinson will have her work cut out for her. The OHS girls soccer program has sported a 31-101-5 (.226) record over the past 10 years.

Robinson will be faced with a steep challenge in her first year coming off a year of no competition with only 20 players on this year's squad. Robinson is assisted by Riley Ludwig.

"We will have a lot of new players, so getting them to play together and work together will be important, especially since we only have one team," noted Robinson. "The players are showing real progress in practice, as they are communicating on the field, and they are making progress in the drills."

Robinson looks for good things in newcomers Mia Garza (freshman mid attacker) and Jadyn Hallgren (freshman midfielder). The Bulldogs are currently in two-a-days practice sessions, with conditioning in the morning practice and skill sessions during the afternoon practices.

"I'm really excited to taking over the reigns as the head coach and want to move the program forward," quipped Robinson. "The key will be improving the numbers out for soccer as we move the program forward. We also want to see the players involved in volunteer work in the community."

The Bulldogs open the season on Tuesday, Apr. 6 when they travel to Pella to take on the Pella Christian Eagles at the Pella Soccer Complex. The contest is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. start.

The home opener for Ottumwa is scheduled for Monday, Apr. 12. The Bulldogs host Centerville at Walsh Soccer Field.

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