The Cyclones bested Thomas More Prep, 1-0. Ottawa (5-9-1) plays today against Winfield (13-3) in the regional final in Winfield.
Ottawa coach Kelly Smith said the Cyclones came through with a gutty effort after traveling so far. She said the heat was a factor as both teams took water breaks. The temperature was in the low 90s at the start of the match
“We had some challenges to battle through,” she said. “It was not easy. The field was rough. We went out and got it done.”
Ottawa has several players which was part of the regional championship team two years ago. Smith said that experience paid dividends for the Cyclones.
“It was not one of our most beautiful games,” Smith said.
Ottawa made adjustments at halftime on how to attack TMP’s defense, which was a bit different than the Cyclones have played against this season.
Smith said the players executed the plan and it turned into a goal by Morgan Fredricks, her first of the season.
On that play, the ball bounced around and found the foot of Fredricks.
The defense was stellar as TMP had one shot on goal.
Smith said senior Sara Soph put together a sterling game and played a physical brand of soccer.
Senior Ashea Hiatt continued to be a valuable member of the team. Smith said Hiatt can play several positions, which came in handy with the injuries to Logan Butler and Sydney Lewis. She also filled the backup keeper role.
Smith said Ottawa will need to play a smart match, similar to the one two years ago in the win over Spring Hill, to reach the state quarterfinals.