Otters claim 2-0 win over North Carolina FC

Tanner Cook • Updated Jun 4, 2019 at 10:09 PM

The new offensive alignment for the Tri-Cities Otters soccer team has been for the better, so far.

The Otters got their second consecutive win on Tuesday at Kermit Tipton Stadium, prevailing 2-0 over North Carolina FC U-23.

The Otters (2-1-1) came out as the aggressor, getting an early miscue from NCFC on a handball inside the box in the fourth minute. Marvin Made converted the penalty kick and the Otters were up 1-0 without even a full 10 minutes gone by.

The final goal for the Otters came in the 66th minute when Taylor Gray headed in a beautiful cross from Alex Horveno on the near side of the field.

“We were extremely attack-minded today,” Otters head coach David Strickland said. “I think the result is fair and I thought we were the better team all night. Something we worked on all week was pushing the numbers forward. We wanted more possession in the final third of the field and put pressure on them, offensively.”

The Otters definitely had a possession advantage in the first half, outshooting NCFC 7-2 and producing five shots on goal. The final tally for the Otters was 14 shots with eight on goal and only nine shots for NCFC.

“That ball that Taylor headed in was zinged from the outside,” Strickland said. “Two games ago, we weren’t getting that high in the box. I thought our mentality was good and we kept the pressure on them the whole night.”

The sheet was fairly clean for Otters keeper Tim Trilk, who had to save just four shots.

The Otters also forced the NCFC players wide and used their superior speed on the edges to take players one-on-one.

“Part of strength is our wide players,” he said. “One-on-one, pace and technical ability are our strengths. We love to play wide and work it back into the middle. If those lanes aren’t open wide, we have the ability to go one-on-one and can get in behind them.”

The next home game for the Otters will be on Saturday against North Carolina Fusion. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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