Girls soccer: Bulldogs shut out Scarlets

May 6—OTTUMWA — Mia Garza-Trejo and Ilana Vasconez are leaving their mark together on the history of the Ottumwa girls soccer program.

Last year, the teammates became the highest-scoring duo in a single season combining to score 27 goals as part of Ottumwa's 7-7 season. This year, Garza-Trejo and Vasconez have already eclipsed that mark reaching 36 combined goals so far this season.

Five of those goals came on Friday night as the Bulldogs added to what is already the winningest season in program history. Vasconez recorded a hat trick while Garza-Trejo put two more goals in the back of the net in Ottumwa's 6-0 Iowa Alliance Conference south division win over Des Moines East at Schafer Stadium.

"It makes things a lot easier when you've got someone like Mia on your team," Vasconez said. "She sets up so many chances that I just have to go for. Our communication has gotten better from the beginning of last year to this year. We know what we both can do together.

"I always know I can always count on Ilana no matter what," Garza-Trejo added. "If I send a ball towards the net, I know Ilana's going to be there to finish it."

That was the case in the opening half on Friday as Ottumwa, less than 24 hours removed from a soggy 10-0 win at home over Centerville in a match delayed by thunderstorms, managed to put just two goals on the board in the entire first half one night after scoring twice prior to the weather delay that started less than 17 minutes after the opening kickoff. Garza-Trejo put the first goal of the night on the board before finding Vasconez on a Bulldog attack for a score that gave Ottumwa a 2-0 halftime lead.

"There were some moments where we could have communicated better, but I think everyone was trying their hardest," Vasconez said.

It didn't take long for the Bulldogs to quickly extend their two-goal lead in the second half. For the third time this season, Ottumwa scored a goal within 30 seconds of a half beginning as Vasconez raced in shortly after the opening kickoff and first her second goal of the match into the net producing the second-fastest goal of the season for the Bulldogs as the score 23 seconds into the half gave OHS a 3-0 lead.

"Early in the season, we were letting teams hang around and stay in games with us," Ottumwa head girls soccer coach Matthew Erlandson said. "I think we finally ended that a few weeks ago when we were leading Des Moines Hoover, 2-1, because we allowed a goal in the second half. We talked about not letting other teams have that type of momentum. We have to put our foot on the gas and keep going."

That goal by Hoover early in the second half against the Bulldogs was the only goal the Huskies scored in a 3-1 win back on Apr. 18, getting Ottumwa back to .500 on the season with a 4-4 record. It was also the last goal any Ottumwa opponent has scored as the Bulldogs have raced to five straight shutout wins scoring all 40 goals in those five matches.

"Our defense has been really stout," Erlandson said. "Our goalkeeping has also been good, whether it's been Blythe Schmidt or Kaitlynne Shoemaker. Both can really play for us in the net. It also helps that we've continued to be relentless with our offense. It's hard for the other team to score if the ball is always 50 to 60 yards away from the goal.

While East did force Shoemaker into making three saves in the match, one more stop that Schmidt had to make in Ottumwa's two 10-0 wins over Fairfield and Centerville earlier in the week, the Bulldogs still produced a decisive edge in scoring opportunities taking 23 shots against the Scarlets challenging three different goalies throughout the match

Vasconez and Garza-Trejo led the charge, each scoring six points. Vasconez completed her hat trick, scoring her 14th goal of the year off a rebound following an initial strike by Garza-Trejo in the 49th minute to put Ottumwa up 4-0.

Jadyn Hallgren added her third goal of the season in the 58th minute, converting on a penalty kick after being tackled on an attack by East back-up goal keeper Reina Velazco. Garza-Trejo then put the match away by scoring her second goal of the night and team-leading 22nd goal of the season in the 75th minute, closing out a six-point night that included a pair of assists on goals by Vasconez.

"It's a really cool thing to share in this success with all of my teammates," Garza-Trejo said. "Ilana and I have only been playing together for a few years, so to be able to form this type of chemistry that quickly is pretty special."

Ottumwa (9-4, 3-1 Iowa Alliance) hosts Marshalltown on Tuesday in what might be the final home match of the season for the Bulldogs with road trips to Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Mount Pleasant and Des Moines Lincoln left after Tuesday to wrap up the regular season. The Bulldogs will also be looking to set a new standard for success within the program as Ottumwa looks to reach 10 wins in a single season for the first time earning a victory that would clinch the first overall winning season in the history of Bulldog girls soccer.

"The more we're winning, the more confidence we're gaining," Garza-Trejo said. "We're expecting to go into each match and get the win."

— Scott Jackson can be reached at Follow him on Twitter@CourierScott.