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Wildcats jump to top of Frontier League with win over Ottawa

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone
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Louisburg’s Hunter Rogers puts a shot on goal Tuesday during the Wildcats’ match with Ottawa in Louisburg. In all, the Wildcats put 29 shots on goal in their 4-1 win.

OTTAWA – News made it way toward the Louisburg sideline midway through the first half that Spring Hill had just upset Frontier League leader Baldwin.

It caught the attention of the Wildcat coaches, and with a win over Ottawa, Louisburg was going to take sole possession of first place. Head coach Kyle Conley relayed that news to his players at halftime and the Wildcats made sure they left Tuesday’s game on top.

Louisburg took care of business as the Wildcats scored a pair of goals in each half and recorded a 4-1 victory over Ottawa at Wildcat Stadium. The win improved their record to 13-1-1 on the season, and a win or tie over Piper tonight, will give the Wildcats their second league title in three years.

“We need to do our job. It is Senior Night, there should be a ton of emotion and a lot of things going on and a lot of distractions,” Conley said. “We are after another banner.”

The Wildcats dominated possession for much of the contest against Ottawa as they put together several scoring chances. In all, Louisburg finished the night with 29 shots on goal.

Junior Treston Carlson was able to find the back of the net 15 minutes into the first half to give Louisburg a 1-0 advantage over Ottawa. A few minutes later, senior Landon Johnson doubled the Wildcats’ score with another goal and Louisburg took a 2-0 lead at halftime.

Louisburg didn’t waste any time after halftime as freshman Cade Gassman scored three minutes into the second half. Ottawa cut the Louisburg lead to 3-1 with a goal early in the half off a corner kick.

Senior Colin Cook possesses the ball to go upfield Tuesday against Ottawa.

The Cyclones weren’t able to get a better opportunity than that one and the Wildcats kept pushing up. Sophomore Braden Yows iced the game when his shot hit the back post and rolled slowly across the line.

Yows and Gassman each added an assist in the win, while Yows led the Wildcats with five shots on goal. Freshman Colin McManigal and Johnson each had four shots, while Carlson and junior Logan Faulkner both had three.

Defensively, the Wildcats were able to limit Ottawa’s opportunities and senior goalie Garrett Rolofson finished with five saves.

“We did a good job,” Conley said. “We were trying to work on our cuts and angles a little more this week. We did a good job of possessing it, moving it and doing our job. The final third could be a little bit cleaner, but the kids played well and played with a ton of energy. You can’t ask for anything more than that.

“I thought we did a good job defensively. We had a lot of kids play for us tonight, whether it was 10 minutes or 20 minutes, we were just relentless. I think the last 15 minutes of the first half we kind of just dominated they rest of the way. We just played with a lot of heart tonight and the kids just played really, really well.”

Now the Wildcats will turn all their focus to Piper tonight as they try for win No. 14, and more importantly, a Frontier League title. It will also be an emotional evening as it is also Senior Night and the Wildcats will honor eight seniors for their time with the program.

“It is a credit to them,” Conley said of his team’s success. “Last year was rough. We never really gelled and we struggled with chemistry a little bit. This team came together since the first day of summer, they are playing for each other, they are always together and supporting one another. It is a credit to them and how hard they play and their desire to get better. It is a credit to all 38 of those guys and they are doing a great job from top to bottom.”

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