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Oettle fully recovered, Jays drop to Mandan in final home game

The Jamestown High School soccer team hosted Mandan on May 17.

jhs girls soccer oettle kicks one 051722.jpg
Jamestown's Breanna Oettle boots the ball past some Mandan defenders Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at the UJ Turf Complex.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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Breanna Oettle couldn’t quite express what it has felt like to be able to do one of the things she loves most again.

"It's like wow, I actually did it," Oettle said. "I came back."

Oettle tore her ACL in a summer league basketball game last July, sending the three-sport athlete into rehab mode up until about a month ago.

An onlooker wouldn't have expected Oettle to only be a month into playing from the way she looked Tuesday night at Jimmie Turf Field.

The junior took to the turf like a fish to water in the Blue Jay soccer team’s final home match of the regular season. Oettle and the Jays wound up dropping 2-1 to Mandan to finish out their home schedule at 5-2. Overall, the Jays are sitting pretty at 7-6 with one game left on their conference schedule.

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The Jays are slated to travel to Bismarck to take on St. Mary’s on Friday.

"I am super proud of the girls and how they played (at home)," head coach Haley Hillstrom said. "We made UJ our home and I am happy with them for doing that."

Hillstrom had to also be happy with Oettle's recovery mentality.

Oettle has taken the recovery just about as serious as an athlete could, attending the rehab clinic at least a few times per week for the last nine months.

Oettle also made it a priority to actively recover on her own, going to Two Rivers Activity Center at least a few times a week to work on strengthening the knee and working to recover her cardio so she would be as prepared as possible for the spring soccer season.

“Ever since I tore it — I've been lifting and working to recover it since then," Oettle said. "My knee is perfect, it's everything else that is sore now."

Hillstrom said having Oettle back in the mix of Blue Jay players has been a huge advantage for the Jays in the midfield. As a sophomore, Oettle earned All-WDA conference honors and was named to the state all-tournament team for her production in the midfield.

"I love watching her play soccer," Hillstrom said of Oettle.

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While Mandan was first to get a score on the board on a boot in the 16th minute, the Blue Jays were battlers and stayed with their opponents the entire first half. A series of well-placed offensive touches set up Oettle on a penalty kick.

“I was nervous but I knew that we needed to get a number on the scoreboard. We needed to score," Oettle said with a shrug.

Oettle’s approach was textbook and she delivered a bullet of a ball that beat Mandan goalie Quinn Carter's reflexes and settled the score at one goal apiece.

The celebration lasted all of 20 seconds then the Jays went right back to being all business.

Mandan wound up scoring with one minute remaining in half No. 1, motivating the Jays that much more heading into the final 40 minutes at Jimmie Turf Field.

The Jays did their best to keep pace with the Braves but a stout defense exhausted the Jays' limited resources. The team was without star scorer Haley Nelson and defensive menace Hannah Sjostrom. The lack of usual starters made things a little more tricky for the Blue Jay offense but Hillstrom said she was still pleased with the effort.

“We adjusted (to lineup changes) in practice and had some younger
kids step up and fill their roles really well," Hillstrom said.

While there wasn’t any offensive production from the Jays in the final half, the team’s defense kept the Braves scoreless too and Hillstrom said one dropped game is not the end of the world for the Blue Jays.

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“Mandan is a good team, it was a winnable game (but) we're looking forward to St. Mary's on Friday," Hillstrom said.

Mandan 2, Jamestown 1

MAN 2 0 — 2

JHS 1 0 — 1

Scoring

First half

1 MAN, Kendal Beckler, (unassisted) 16th minute; 2. JHS, Oettle (unassisted), 36th minute; 3. MAN, Portia Matthiesen (unassisted), 39th minute.

Second half

No scoring.

Related Topics: PREP SPORTSJAMESTOWN BLUE JAYSBLUE JAYS SOCCER
Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at kringer@jamestownsun.com or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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