The Otters have won their second game in a row for the second time this season after topping Memphis City FC 2-0 on Tuesday night. The Otters recorded 18 shots, and goals from Guillermo Segovia (Florida Tech) and Shalom Dutey (Liberty) were the difference to move the Otters to 5-6-1 on the season and into fifth place.
Early on the Otters struggled to complete dangerous passes in the final third, but a high level of defensive pressure allowed the Otters to maintain the bulk of the possession. In the 6th minute, Segovia found some space from 25 yards out and sent a missile into the upper right corner to give the Otters the early lead.
The Otters continued to apply pressure and defender James Scasserra (Palm Beach Atlantic) was able to force several turnovers at midfield and make big runs to spark the counterattack. Dutch midfielder Jeremy De Hoog (Rio Grande) also was successful playing long balls forward to Mehdi Chtara (France) and Ayuk Tambe (Tusculum) to create chances.
Nearing the end of the half, the Otters earned a corner after Scasserra forced a turnover and Chtara’s shot was knocked away. The following corner was knocked out for another corner and this time the Otters broke through. De Hoog’s service deflected off Taylor Gray (Lees-McRae) to Dutey at the top of the box, whose shot wove through several defenders legs and into the back of the net.
On the defensive side, Memphis attempted to play long balls over the top, but the backline of George Stanley (Montreat), Dutey, Scasserra and the returning Blake Barribeau (Palm Beach Atlantic), as well as midfielder Oscar Perez (Wingate) were able to neutralize Memphis’ most dangerous chances.
In goal, Tyler Pavlet (Lees-McRae) continued his record-breaking form, making a big save in the third minute and securing his fourth shutout of the season and fifth win overall, which are both Otters records.
The Otters had several chances in the second half but could not convert. The best came when Dutey got his head to corner kick, but it went off the crossbar and over. Later, second-half sub Elias McCloud (John Brown) played a great long ball to Henrique Devens (Tusculum) but he could not convert from the tough angle.
In this game, Segovia set the single-season minutes record (1,124) and tied the season appearance record (13). His lone shot in the game also tied him for the most shots in a season by a player (22). Dutey’s goal moved him into fourth all-time in points (9) with four goals and an assist over three seasons for the Otters.
The Otters will close out their most successful season at home on Saturday against division-winner and rivals Tormenta FC. The Otters will look to spoil Tormenta’s currently unbeaten season and continue to climb the table! Kickoff will be at 7 PM on Saturday, July 14th at Kermit-Tipton Stadium. Tickets are available now at http://www.ottersoccer.com/2018-game-tickets/ or on the HappsNow app! See you Saturday! #FearTheFur