KALIDA — Ottoville ended a 14-year losing drought to Kalida and it could not have come at a better time as the Big Green downed their Putnam County rival 1-0 in the Division III sectional final Tuesday night.
With the win, Ottoville improves to 8-8-2 and advances to play Fort Jennings/Lima Central Catholic winner at Ottoville at 7 p.m. Oct. 26. Kalida ended its season with a 9-5-1 record.
“This is exciting. This is huge,” Ottoville head coach Doug German said. “No. 1 we have never beaten Kalida. I have never beat Kalida. None of these girls have ever beaten Kalida so in my mind nobody has beaten Kalida. To beat them in tournament is big. The Kalida girls never quit and we snuck one in early and played defense the rest of the game. This is awesome for my girls and awesome for my assistant coaches.
Ottoville’s lone score came off the foot of Aly Saxton, who was recently named PCL player of the year. Saxton’s goal came at the 28:23 mark of the second half when the talented Big Green forward dribbled her way pass one defender, moved to the left, found an angle and slipped it past Wildcat goalie Kassidy Hipsher for the goal.
Prior to the score, Ottoville had an offensive surge at the end of the first half but could not find the back of the net. Kalida dominated the time of possession of the first half trying to notch a score.
After Ottoville’s score, German opted to pack it in on his side of the score to prevent a Kalida goal and it proved to be tense for the final 27 minutes for the fans and especially Ottoville keeper Madison Hoersten who, like in the beginning of the game, withstood Ottoville’s constant pressure.
“Our offense had so many opportunities in the first half,” German said. “We just couldn’t sneak one in. Whatever we did they were always there to stop us. Obviously we got one in. We got around their sweeper and then obviously stopped and went for the win.”
Hoersten made two big saves in the that final 25 minutes that reached its peak in the final two minutes when Kalida’s corner kick almost resulted in a score when a Wildcat header went high above the goal.
German admitted his team hates playing that prevent type defense but it proved to be effective.
“it might look easy on the field but it is gruelling as crap,” German said. “You have 11 girls that all they want to do is score and we don’t put any past midcourt. It is gruelling as crap. They are happy now and their adrenaline is flowing but they will tell you it is gruelling as crap. Unbelievable. Unbelievable.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.