Another game, another wild back and forth game. The difference this time is that the Otters saw themselves fight back from an early deficit and score three unanswered goals to secure their record-setting fourth win of the season. The win moved them into fifth in the division with a 4-6-2 record.
The game had a sluggish start, with both teams struggling to create the decisive pass. The Otters best early chances came from the set piece service of Jeremy De Hoog (Rio Grande) getting Shalom Dutey (Liberty) and Diego Thielen (Ohio Valley) open headers that just missed. Defender James Scasserra (Palm Beach Atlantic) was also able to have an offensive impact with several good balls forward to spring breakaways.
The Chaos got on the board first in the 16th minute when a low cross knocked off an Otter defender’s legs into the goal. Ten minutes later, the Chaos were able to capitalize on some momentary confusion to double their lead. West Virginia nearly added one more in the 32nd minute, but goalkeeper Tyler Pavlet (Lees-McRae) was able to make a great save to keep the score line at 2-0.
After numerous chances, the Otters were finally able to score after their press forced a turnover right to Mehdi Chtara (France) who calmly played it out wide to Ayuk Tambe (Tusculum) for the Otters opener. Spanish forward Guillermo Segovia (Florida Tech) created a couple more chances, but the Otters could not get the equalizer and headed into the half trailing by one.
To start the half, the Otters brought on Henrique Devens (Tusculum) as an extra attacker and moved into a back three to jumpstart the offense. The move paid off with the Otters creating chance after chance and earning several corners.
In the 72nd minute, Pavlet received a ball at midfield and hit a ball forward that found the feet of Dutey, who had been forward for a corner kick. Dutey used a wonderful touch to bring the ball down and poked it past the Chaos goalkeeper to level the game at 2-2 with twenty minutes to play.
The Otters weren’t satisfied and kept pushing for the game winner. With just three minutes until stoppage time, Thielen took a throw-in quickly to Segovia who headed the ball to Oscar Perez (Wingate) who found a streaking Tambe on the right wing. Tambe then used his speed to blow past the goalkeeper and finish in the open net for the decisive goal of the match!
The win gave the Otters their most for a season (4), as well as their highest point total for a season (14). This was also Pavlet’s fourth win, extending his own record. Chtara picked up his fifth assist of the season to also extend his own record and move into third for points in a season. The Otters also recorded 20 shots as a team, good for second most in a game, only bested by Tuesday’s performance against Peachtree City (22). They also have 136 shots for the season, beating last year’s record of 131 shots. Dutey moved into second in all-time minutes for the Otters with 1,167 career minutes. Segovia is also just eleven minutes from breaking the single-season minutes record set by Dion Stergiotis last season.
The Otters will look for revenge against Memphis City FC for their 4-3 loss on Tuesday at Kermit-Tipton Stadium! Be there to cheer the Otters on as they look for their second straight win. Tickets can be purchased at the gate or through the HappsNow app! #FearTheFur