Bull Dogs hang on against Owls

With a potential sectional showdown looming, Columbus North and Seymour battled it out in regular-season boys soccer action Tuesday night at North’s Max Andress Field.

The Bull Dogs controlled the ball most of the contest and greatly outshot the Owls, yet managed to be on target just once to pull out a 1-0 senior night victory.

The same two teams could meet again for next week’s sectional crown should they advance throughout the five-team tourney, hosted by Columbus East at Richard Wigh Soccer Complex.

North coach Andy Glover was happy for the win, but remained concerned about his crew’s lack of offense.

“Possession is good, but goals are better,” Glover said. “We’ve got to do a better job at finding the back of the net.”

The Bull Dogs (7-5-3) opened in attack mode and had already registered a trio of shot attempts before Alex McGill knocked in the fourth attempt in the 16th minute. The line-drive boot was set up by a deep assist from Nicholas Beales.

Seymour closed the scoring door the remainder of the battle and almost knotted action in the final minutes, but watched as North senior Preston Grimes made a body-sacrificing play to deny the guests.

“That was a great save by Grimes,” Owls coach Matt Dennis said. “Daniel Hartman ripped a shot that I thought might get through, but it didn’t happen.”

Dennis said his squad’s team defense was key and saw the offense pick up the pace in the second half.

“I know it looked like they peppered us, but they actually only got five shots in frame and (senior keeper) Austin Hatfield stopped four of them.”

North did indeed fire away early and often, outshooting Seymour 15-5 — including 10-1 in the first half — but continued to miss the target. McGill got another good look early in the second half, while other close attempts came from Jake Osborne, Alex Davidson and Tyler Heathcote.

“We had some good chances to score,” Glover said. “But many times we failed to take chances, and I’m worried time may be running out on us if we don’t correct it.”

The Owls, meanwhile, spent most of their energy containing the Bull Dogs, but also got a pair of shot attempts from Kyle Jones and a desperation wide attempt by Martin Sebastian with three seconds left in the game.

“We played well and gave up just one goal,” Dennis said. “We keep playing like we this, and we’ll be looking forward to playing North again next week.”