The Ottawa High School boys soccer team’s offensive prowess has yet to blossom, which puts a strain on the defense. The Cyclones have a penchant of trying for the perfect opportunity to shoot.
“We can’t finish,” Ottawa coach Roland Jaworski said following Thursday’s 3-0 loss to Kansas City Christian on the Cyclones’ home turf.
The coach said the offense needs a quicker pace.
“We had total possession of the ball,” Jaworski said. “If we would have gone percentage-wise, we would have doubled them. We have to play a little quicker and shoot a lot quicker. We have too many touches up front. We have to clean that up.”
Jaworski said the Cyclones are relying a couple of players to take the majority of the shots.
“They have to get out of that mindset,” Jaworski said. “Several of them can shoot. I have seen it happen. Until they start doing that, it is not going to change.”
The KC Christian defense swarmed to the ball when Ottawa got into scoring position.
“Their defense was doing a good job of throwing everybody behind the ball,” Jaworski said. “They had the time to do that because we were taking so much time to shoot. It is a catch-22.”
The Cyclone coach said he needs one player to step forward and be opportunistic.
“I feel we don’t have that,” he said. “We had a couple of opportunities today where if we would have done one-touch, it would have made it a little different. It is not quick as it needed to be. It does not have to be a good shot.”
The Panthers’ offense was built around senior all-state forward Ben Pivovar, who netted two of the three goals.
“When he shoots well, it is hard (to defend that),” Jaworski said. “You can tell when he scores they are used to it and when others score they are excited. Obviously, that is how they play. They had a couple of really good players. They are always good.”
Jaworski said the Cyclones don’t have consistent level of play yet this season.
“We played poorly some games and well in other games,” he said. “Today, we played well. I can deal with a loss like tonight when they play hard. Tuesday night, they did not play hard. That is frustrating. They seem to play a lot better against the (tougher) teams. We as a program, we can’t do that. We need to play strong against every team. It would be nice to have some consistency, same intensity every game. I understand they get frustrated. If we can score early, that would really help us.”
The Cyclones came out displaying that fire Jaworski is looking for.
“It was some of the best soccer I have seen them play at the beginning of the first half,” he said. “They were passing the ball around and it looked really solid. They had possession, but you still have to find the space and time to shoot. If you don’t have the space, you have to make the space and time.”
Jaworski said the future appears to be bright with several underclassmen playing key roles for this team.
“I have to keep them motivated and moving forward,” he said.
Ottawa plays Tuesday at Bonner Springs.