OTTOVILLE – Bath was feeling pretty good about itself by the halftime break of Monday’s nonconference boys soccer game against Ottoville.
By intermission, the game was knotted at 1-1 , with both teams mustering four shots on goal.
Then came the second half.
Ottoville came out of the break and scored on a penalty kick, less than two minutes into the second half – off the foot of Dalton Davis – to take a one goal lead.
Then eight minutes later, a long-range goal by Will Miller, gave the Big Green all the scoring they needed, as Ottoville’s defense smothered Bath the rest of the way, en route to a 3-1 victory at Ottoville in wet weather conditions.
In the second half, Bath did not manage to get a shot on goal as Ottoville’s defenders were right there to stamp out every opportunity the Wildcats had.
“The first half, in these conditions, you have to take whatever is given,” Ottoville head coach Dustin Markward said. “We had some really good opportunities. Their goalkeeper (Brenton Brock, four saves) made a couple nice saves.
“Defensively, we had some breakdowns. The goal that we allowed, we had two of our defenders completely lose track of where they were. So, my goal, heading into the second half, was to not lose focus, regain that confidence and simply want it more in the second half. We had two goals; and after that, our defense did a sensational job in the second half. I don’t think we gave up a shot on goal.”
To start the game, Ottoville got on the scoreboard first, with a goal from Trey Landwehr, from about 25 yards out. Landwehr’s shot sailed over Brock’s head, just barely sneaking below the cross bar.
Bath responded, two minutes later, with a goal by Zach Garza. The senior Garza slipped the ball past Ottoville goalkeeper Kaiden Trentman (two saves) in the left side of the net.
However, in the second half, Ottoville kept Bath in check.
“In the second half, we switched sides and got the wind to our front side,” Bath head coach David Briggs said. “With their style of play, they like to play the ball in space and that caught some of our guys out of position, which gave them a few opportunities.
“We didn’t play our style in the second half. We lost track of what we wanted to do. Ultimately, I think that’s what got us – we lost focus.”
For the game, Ottoville took seven shots on goal.
With the win, Ottoville improves to 5-0 on the season. Bath slips to 1-2-1.
“We have quite a few (letter winners) back,” Markward said. “We are missing one starter from last year, and we have some upcoming freshmen that I think are filling roles, really, really well. So, we have a lot of experience back and that’s really helped us up to this point in the season.
“The experience is huge. … It’s also about coming out with confidence. I keep preaching confidence, every day. We also focus on each game, every day.”