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Ottawa’s Emma O’Dell (No. 15) takes the ball from La Salle-Peru’s Mariela Cruz before scoring one of her three goals Tuesday during the Lady Pirates’ 6-1 victory in La Salle. NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson
Emma O’Dell wasted little time getting to business Tuesday.
In a non-conference game against La Salle-Peru, the senior forward on the Ottawa girls soccer team scored a hat trick in the first 20 minutes to spark the Lady Pirates to a 6-1 victory over the Lady Cavaliers at the L-P sports complex in La Salle.
“It was exciting and kind of a relief,” O’Dell said of the win. “We had a losing streak, and we weren’t getting down, but this is a boost and good for our confidence.”
O’Dell found the back of the net in the eighth, 12th and 20th minutes to give Ottawa a 3-0 halftime lead, which the Lady Pirates never came close to surrendering in the second 40 minutes of play.
“It was absolutely very defining for us to be able to get the early goals with Emma O’Dell,” Ottawa coach Holly Hall said. “It allowed the girls to relax a little bit and really put the ball into motion instead of playing a kickball-type game.”
The win by Ottawa (2-9-2) snapped a six-game losing streak.
“It was nice to get a win and have some momentum moving forward,” Hall said. “This season has been a real curveball for us as far as being a learning experience. We graduated a lot of talented seniors last year, and even though we still have leadership on the team we also have a lot of younger girls playing up. They absolutely needed this win to bring momentum into the rest of the season.” O’Dell scored her first goal at 7:10 to give Ottawa a 1-0 lead and found the net again at 11:50 to give Ottawa a 2-0 cushion. She made it 3-0 at 19:09.
The Lady Pirates — who outshot L-P 34-6 and had 21 shots on goal to L-P’s two — added on in the second half as Maria Camacho, Luisa Bedolla and Jada Pifer each scored goals.
“It wasn’t just one girl today, it was multiple girls, so that was good for the whole team,” O’Dell said.
Despite trailing, the Lady Cavs continued to battle in the second half and were rewarded with a goal.
After L-P put a shot on net, the Ottawa goalkeeper made a save. However, after making the stop, the keeper lost possession and the ball squirted away to allow sophomore Anna Smith to put the ball into a wide-open net.
“All that I can ask for is that they’re chasing the ball, getting involved in every play, they are aggressive and they are looking to do as much as they can,” L-P coach Ryan Duffy said. “That goal was Anna being at the right place at the right time. She wasn’t quitting and she didn’t stop.”
Unfortunately for the Lady Cavs (1-11-3), they were unable to find any more offense.
“We’re just trying to continue to grow every game,” Duffy said. “Fundamentally, we’ve got to make sure we tighten up some of the simple things. Our first touch needs to be better. Our passing needs to be better. We ran into a lot of turnovers today, but we continue to work on all of those things and we’ve gotten better every game.”
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
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