BLOOMINGTON — The visiting Columbus East boys’ soccer team did all the scoring within a 90-second burst in the first half Monday to record a 2-0 upset of No. 7-ranked Bloomington South.
After the Olympians, who are 9-4-1, grabbed the lead, they relied on a suffocating defense and some great goal keeping by Andy Davidson to frustrate the Panthers.
“Our attack started off really well and created several scoring opportunities,” said East coach Brad Barber. “When we attack with the pace like we did tonight, we are very hard to defend.
“Bloomington South is a heck of a program to get a win against.”
Columbus East’s first goal came in the 13th minute when Andrew Thomasson headed the ball forward to Levi Copas, who in turn passed it to Sam Newell at the right side of the goal box. Panthers keeper Ryan Yohn tried to present Newell with an impossible angle, but Newell found the top left corner of the net to give East the 1-0 lead.
“I saw the goalie was coming out, so my only shot was the outside corner,” Newell said. “Luckily, it went in.”
East was energized by the goal and it came right back at the end of the 14th minute. Dustin Rodgers dribbled the ball down the right side and found Thomasson, who was not defended as he charged to the middle of the field. With that space, Thomasson crushed a powerful shot that Yohn simply couldn’t handle. East led 2-0 and Bloomington South was in trouble.
As good as the offense performed, East’s defense was just as good. Barber was proud of his team’s defensive effort and of Davidson’s work in front of the net.
“Andy did a great job at putting himself in the right position at the right time,” Barber said of his keeper.
Barber said Davidson’s positioning forced South’s offensive players to concentrate on one small area of the net, and that made it easier for him to record the saves.
Barber also was happy with his team’s communication throughout the game, which prevented Bloomington South from mounting many offensive charges.
“We kept the pressure up the whole game,” said East’s Ian Pittman. “This has been one of the best games we have had together. Our combinations and our passing all worked well.”
East senior Caleb Glass said the preparation leading up to the game was key.
“We were all anticipating this match-up the whole week and we worked really hard for it,” Glass said.
“We have been doing sprints before practice to help us play harder and longer when we face exhaustion.”
The Olympians’ play could not have come at a better time with sectional coming up.
“We talked about always playing up to our ability and to our standards,” Barber said. “Sometimes we don’t have that, but tonight everything came together and it was a huge step in the right direction.”