The Otters were unable to overcome an early deficit on the road Saturday night, losing 4-1 to the SC United Bantams. After falling behind 3-0 in the first 15 minutes, the Otters hung around for awhile, having the chance to cut it to a one goal lead, but ultimately could not.
The Bantams came out firing from the opening kickoff, and it did not take them long to break through, scoring in the third minute. Only a few minutes later, a defensive miscue in the back allowed them to double their lead. The Otters still struggled to find any sort of rhythm, and in the 11th minute, South Carolina got another.
From that point, the Otters began to see more of the ball and create chances of their own. Mehdi Chtara (France) had an effective night, setting up his teammates or creating chances for himself. The first real chance came when Chtara sent in a ball from the right wing that found Troy Brady (Canisius) in front of goal, forcing a save from the goalie.
Finally, the Otters were able to get on the board when a Jeremy De Hoog (Rio Grande) corner found the head of Shalom Dutey (Liberty) for the goal. The Otters found success throughout the night on set pieces, with a header from Matt Perry (Bradley) being cleared off the line later on in the match.
Heading towards halftime, Tri-Cities continued to push, with Guillermo Segovia (Ohio Valley) using his size to hold off defenders and get shots.
Coming out of halftime trailing 3-1, the Otters kept trying to get back into the game. The pivotal moment in the game came when Chtara was pulled down in the box for a penalty, with the chance to make it a one-goal game. However, his ensuing kick was saved and just minutes later the Bantams were able to score on the counter to push it to a 4-1 scoreline.
That didn’t deter the Otters, with Chtara and substitutes Ayuk Tambe (Tusculum), Taylor Gray (Lees-McRae), and Henrique Devens (Tusculum) continually linking up and getting around the edge to send in crosses. Unfortunately, the Otters were unable to score any more goals and the game ended in a 4-1 loss for the Otters.
The Otters finished their opening road trip 0-2-2, but now prepare for a four-game home stand in Kermit-Tipton Stadium, beginning on June 8th at 7 PM against Mississippi Brilla! Tickets are available through the HappsNow app or by going to http://www.ottersoccer.com/2018-game-tickets/ to make your purchase! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for team updates throughout the season and we look forward to seeing everyone out next Friday for the home opener! #FearTheFur