For the first time ever, the Otters have gone on the road and emerged victorious. The Otters travelled down to Birmingham, Alabama on Tuesday night and walked away with a 2-0 in spectacular fashion, thanks to two goals from Spanish players Oscar Perez (Wingate) and Guillermo Segovia (Florida Tech). The win moves the Otters to fifth place, edging out the Birmingham Hammers on goals scored.
With several changes to the lineup from last Wednesday’s clash with the Hammers, the Otters started out on the front foot, creating chances early by utilizing the speed of Ayuk Tambe (Tusculum) and Taylor Gray (Lees-McRae) on the wings. Both were very active in the game, not only creating chances for themselves, but for their teammates.
On the opposite side of the ball, the Otters’ backline of James Scasserra (Palm Beach Atlantic), Ruben Yebga (France), Shalom Dutey (Liberty), and Blake Barribeau (Palm Beach Atlantic) were able to handle all that Birmingham had to offer, keeping their third clean sheet in four games.
Scasserra and Barribeau were also able to contribute on the offensive end. In the 29th minute, Barribeau raced to the end line to save a ball, and after a couple deflections it ended up at the feet of Perez. With space he decided to take a chance, and his beautiful dipping ball ended up in the back of the Hammers’ net for the early 1-0 lead.
From that point on the game’s intensity was heightened, with both teams playing very physical. With that, Birmingham began pressing hard for the equalizer. The defense did its job, helping goalkeeper Tyler Pavlet (Lees-McRae) deal with the most dangerous threats and securing his third shutout of the season, breaking last year’s mark set by Torge Wiedenroth.
The second half was much of the same as the Otters continued to subdue the Hammers attack, looking to break the pressure and get out on the counterattack when possible.
With the Otters trying to keep the game at 1-0, several substitutes were called in to help see the game out. First, Guilherme Àvila (William and Carey) replaced Dutey in the 65th minute after a mid-air collision eventually forced Dutey out of the match. Àvila was able to make several key tackles late in the match, often in 1-v-1 situations. In the midfield, Aleksa Mitrovic (NW Nazarene) and Mattia Ditommaso (Wingate) were responsible for stopping Birmingham, and initiating the Otters attack.
The dagger came late in stoppage time when Perez flew past the Hammers backline, into the box, before laying it off to Segovia, who calmly placed it in the top right corner for the 2-0 lead before the final whistle blew.
The Otters continue their road trip on Friday, when they travel west to face Memphis City FC at 8:00 PM EST. You can stay up to date on all team-related content by following us on social media, and on game days follow along on Twitter for play-by-play analysis throughout the match! #FearTheFur