Girls soccer: Columbus Grove, Ottoville battle to tie

COLUMBUS GROVE — After being denied a Northwest Conference title Tuesday, Columbus Grove looked Saturday to secure a share of the Putnam County League crown against Ottoville.

However, the Bulldogs once again came away disappointed after Ottoville battled the Bulldogs to a 1-1 tie.

Columbus Grove moves to 3-0-1 in the PCL and 9-2-2 overall. Ottoville goes to 1-3-1 in the league and 7-4-2 for the season.

The Bulldogs can still snag the league title Thursday with a win against Kalida.

“We are still in the hunt,” Columbus Grove Chris Halker said. “If we win Thursday we will win the conference but we were hoping to get it outright today and not have to worry so much for the last game but that is what it comes down to.”

Coming into the game, Ottoville was on a three game winless streak, going 0-2-1.

“We are going to take that tie,” Ottoville head coach Doug German said. “If you’ve watched us the last two games we were in a slump and we really needed this right before tournament and you are playing a top quality Grove team. Dude, we will take this and run every day.

“This is what we wanted out of the girls. They played awesome. I’ll take a tie right now. Obviously, a win would have been awesome but we will take the tie and walk away and have a good weekend.”

The goals for both teams came via the penalty kick.

Ottoville’s score came first when Columbus Grove was whistled for a hand ball inside the penalty box resulting in a penalty kick. Jessa Burgei fired it in to give the Big Green the 1-0 lead with 6:12 left in the first half.

Looking to gain the equalizer, the Bulldogs upped its offensive attack after the score and Columbus Grove had an excellent opportunity less than two minutes later when Ottoville keeper Maddison Hoersten turned back a short range shot from the Bulldogs.

That would be a familiar scene in the second half as the Bulldogs continued its offensive onslaught and controlled the ball for the majority of the final 40 minutes.

For the majority of the half, the Big Green defense, led by keeper Hoersten with help from Dreya Swift, Gabby Metzger and Bryleigh Napao turned back the Bulldogs but Columbus Grove finally broke through when Auchmuty made a run at the goal and was dragged down in the box with 16:28 showing on the clock.

Auchmuty evened the score when she fired in the penalty kick to knot the score at 1.

“The Auchmuty girl is tough,” German said. “She is an all-around athlete, no doubt about it. Not that she is the only person on their team but they definitely go through her. We watch. We know what is going on. I think defensively both teams stood up. We got some shots off. They got some shots off. It was a scrappy game and we both played to win and we will take a tie.”

When Columbus Grove, which has not been shutout this year, scores one goal in a game, it is 0-2-2.

“You are afraid of this on homecoming weekend and that is to come out slow in the first half and then had to play a little harder in the second half and it just makes it harder when you have to dig out of a hole,” Halker said. “We controlled the second half a lot better in the second half and we didn’t finish.

“We will take the tie instead of the loss but we did not play the first half,” Halker said. “Once we had the ball up we said let’s just force it on our end and get some more shots and we did a good job of it but we didn’t finish any shots. We controlled passing in the second half and we had momentum that second half we just couldn’t get that second shot in.”

Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.