The Ottawa High School boys soccer team is finding its stride after a rough go for most of this season.
The Cyclones are starting to put consistent performances together and play with more cohesion. The results on the field are showing as the Cyclones bested Bonner Springs, 3-0, Tuesday for their second win of the season. Ottawa came within a whisker of back-to-back wins, but came up short Thursday at home against Tonganoxie. The Chieftains scored off a free kick with seven minutes remaining to edge the Cyclones, 3-2.
“We definitely had a much better week this week with the 3-0 win against Bonner Springs,” Ottawa coach Roland Jaworski said. “The training sessions have been going well. Today was a well-fought match. They played really hard. It is starting to click.”
Jaworski has molded the young group step-by-step this season.
“I see the program developing and going in a good direction,” he said. “We have some solid freshmen. Everybody is being positive with each other. It is coming together. Progress, not regress. As a whole team, as a unit, they are playing well together. They are having fun playing together. That is what it takes. They are starting to play off each other. They are anticipating what the others are going to do.”
Jaworski said there has been growing pains along the way and the players are open to keep learning. The coach liked how the group continues to grow and mature as soccer players.
“They came out intense,” Jaworski said. “The intensity was up the whole time. It was good to see that. I have been talking a lot about it. Come out with the right mind set and right intensity. Be prepared for the game. They were, everything from the warm-ups to the kickoff. We went right after it.”
The coach saw some growing on the field, correcting mistakes on the fly. He said after Ottawa gave up that late goal off a free kick, the organization of the back four improved.
The attacking offense is showing a lot of life.
“The second goal came because Matthew Powell crossed it in,” Jaworski said. “When you cross it in low and hard, good things happen. I feel like my front three, Chris (Hanson), Reese (Fogle) and Matthew, are playing well together. They are trying to pass off to each other. We are getting those (goal) opportunities now. We were not getting those earlier in the season.”
The coach said the midfield is playing smarter and together.
“The midfield is doing what we talked about, pinching in and playing a certain way,” Jaworski said.
Ottawa gave up a quick goal, off a header from a free kick six minutes into the game.
“After they scored in the first six minutes, I started getting that sinking feeling,” Jaworski said. “Reese, I told him that he may be young, but he is still a leader in this program. His energy and intensity the team follows. He scored that goal and got everybody up. We kept attacking. We are stepping to the ball a lot better. We are getting there.”
Ottawa plays Tuesday at home against Spring Hill.