SANDWICH – The Ottawa boys soccer team opened the 2021 season in fine fashion going 4-0, beating Princeton and then winning the championship of the Serena Tournament with solid victories against Serena, Indian Creek and Newark-Seneca.
The Pirates added to their impressive beginnings by kicking off Interstate 8 Conference play Monday with a dominating 7-0, time shortened victory over Sandwich.
Ottawa (5-0, 1-0) scored six goals in just under 20 minutes in the first half to take that lead into the break. The Pirates then scored during the sixth minute of the second half to lead 7-0, which invoked the halving of the clock for the rest of the match. The Pirates breezed to victory to remain undefeated.
“It’s definitely been a nice start for us going 5-0 so far with a big win today against a Sandwich team that played very hard,” Ottawa coach Jeff Davis said. “The guys have been competing very well together so far, and it’s encouraging getting a dominating victory like this to begin our conference schedule.”
The Pirates received a remarkable four-goal performance from senior captain Gio Resendez, as well as two scores off the foot of junior Ethan Cela. Freshman Evan Snook also added a goal, while seniors Ray Moore and Kenny Harsted had two assists each.
Sandwich (0-3, 0-1) struggled offensively with only four shots on goal mostly because of a lock-down performance from Harsted who was ultra-effective as Ottawa’s sweeper.
“The defense against us was very tough today, and their sweeper was great at keeping us away from the net. After the opening moments of the match we found it hard to stay with them,” Sandwich coach Aaron Mlot said. “We’re very young and inexperienced, but still, we hung in there early throughout the first 10 minutes. After that, Ottawa really took control and never looked back, unfortunately for us.”
The Indians actually had the best scoring chance near the start when junior Luis Baez tried to sneak one past Ottawa keeper Jackson Damron from 12-yards out, but it hit the right goal post at the 32:18 mark.
After that, however, the Pirates scoring onslaught ensued.
Cela started things off by corralling a rebound off of senior Jonathan Sczewczuk’s shot and then he put it past Sandwich keeper Johnathon Carlson from close range to give Ottawa a 1-0 lead at the 30:17 mark.
Resendez then followed with two quick goals off assists from Moore (26:33) and Harsted (23:52) to put the Pirates up, 3-0.
Snook found the back of the net after a nice touch goal via a deft assist from senior Edwin Nurinda at 20:58. Resendez then registered a hat-trick off of a throw-in by senior Will Goetz at 18:09 to make it 5-0.
“It was a great first half for me and for all of us,” Resendez said. “During these five games to start our season we’ve been really focused both offensively and defensively, and today we showed that focus again.”
Harsted got a second assis with another long pass, sweeping a ball to Cela who buried a shot from about 12-yards out at the 9:31 mark. That goal gave Ottawa a 6-0 advantage at the half.
All that was left was for Resendez to post his fourth goal of the match in the second half, which he did on an assist from Moore. Resendez now has a whopping 10 goals in five matches.
“To get going with our year like this is pretty special,” Resendez said. “I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished so far, and moving ahead I believe we can continue to do some great things as the season goes along.”