SEYMOUR — Columbus East scored three goals in the final 5:33 of Tuesday’s boys’ soccer match at Seymour and came home with a 4-0 Hoosier Hills Conference win and retain the O Cup for the 10th straight year.
Olympians coach Brad Barber said he felt like his team did a good job of controlling the match. Goalkeeper A.J. Cruite only had to make one save as East had 28 shots to eight for the Owls.
“Our defense did job of shutting them down, and more importantly we were able to possess the ball there at their half of the field and therefore negated many scoring opportunities,” Barber said.
The Olympians netted their first goal when Jayvon Thomas received a crossing pass from Ramiro Nieto and put it in the net in the 19th minute.
“Ramiro beat a few players out wide, and Jayvon was there to finish, and it was a calm, cool finish in front of the goal to set us up for a 1-0 lead in the first half,” Barber said.
The teams battled on even terms until Andrew Thomasson scored two goals and Ian Pittman added a score all in the final 5:33. Sam Newell and Ramiro Nieto had assists for East (2-1-1, 2-0).
“We talk a lot about being the better team over 80 minutes, and I think we were that today,” Barber said. “We struggled a little bit to finish after creating a number of scoring opportunities, but finally, when we broke through, we were able to get a few more at the end.”
Some of those missed opportunities Barber was talking about came in the first 14 minutes of the second half as Austin Hatfield came up with a handful of saves for the Owls (2-1, 0-1).
“After the first 10 minutes I think we possessed the ball most of the time,” Barber said. “I think (the shot charts) speak volumes to the way the match went. If we continue to create scoring opportunities, we’re eventually going to break through.
“We’re looking forward to a tough week of playing Bloomington North on Thursday and Columbus North on Saturday,” he said.