The Otters got back in the win column Saturday night thanks to a David Panter (Hastings) goal, knocking off third place Tormenta FC 2 by a score of 1–0 at home. The result ends a winless skid of six games for the Otters, and jumps the Otters back into the middle of the table in the Deep South Division. After a short holiday break, the Otters look to keep pushing up the table, as they host the SSA Kings and Dalton Red Wolves at home on Wednesday and Friday, respectively, next week! Tickets for the match are already on sale at ottersoccer.com or on HappsNow!
The match began with the Otters working several half chances early, but unable to get anything on frame other than a William Stallworth (Montreat) shot. Tormenta settled into the game, but the backline of Stallworth, Jan Gruhn (CSU-Pueblo), Mike Peck (Missouri State), and Ethan Bishop (Milligan) held strong and prevented Tormenta from seriously testing Jasper Rump (Coker) in goal in the first half.
It took just one minute into the second half for the Otters to break the game open, when a ball by Gruhn over the top found Panter, who buried the ball on the bounce, to give the Otters the one goal lead.
Tormenta dialed up the pressure, and the Otters bent, but didn’t break, using the defensive organization and the the midfield duo of Raul Varela (Lynn) and Nicolas Cortes (Drake) to continually break up Tormenta attacks, and spring the counterattack.
The Otters continued to push for a second goal, with Agu Ortiz (Anderson) getting multiple shots on frame in the second half. Sebastian Borquez (Rio Grande) and Noah Kvifte (St. Leo) also had chances of their own, but were unable to beat the Tormenta keeper for a second time.
Tormenta’s best chances of the match came in the 88th minute when a cross spilled in front of goal and Gruhn was able to deflect the certain goal over the crossbar. The ensuing corner found a Tormenta player’s head but Rump was able to elevate and catch the ball before it leveled the game. After over ten minutes of stoppage time, the final whistle blew, cementing the 1–0 win and a much needed three points for the Otters. The win also marked the Otters first ever over Tormenta in USL League Two action.
The Otters will play their final two home games of the 2022 season this coming Wednesday (the 6th) and Friday (the 8th) when they welcome SSA Kings and the Dalton Red Wolves to TVA Credit Union Ballpark. Both games are set to kick off at 7 PM and tickets are on sale now! Be sure to follow the Otters (@ottersoccer) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up to date on all things Otters year round! #FearTheFur