An experienced Columbus North girls soccer team that had high hopes coming into this season struggled to find the net in its first two games and managed only a pair of ties.
Monday night, the Bull Dogs had no such trouble.
North erupted for six goals in rolling to its first win of the season, a 6-0 victory against Columbus East.
“We just got a little more focused,” North coach Derek Stewart said. “We were well-rested, and we have a lot of depth. We got all the players in and had a good rotation and everybody contributed. That’s nice to see.”
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The Bull Dogs (1-0-2) were playing for the first time in nine days. They were supposed to play at Bloomington North on Wednesday, but that game was rained out.
The East game was originally scheduled for Saturday night, but rain Saturday morning and afternoon left the main field at Richard Wigh Soccer Complex unplayable.
“We’ve been working hard in practice, and we had a really good practice the night before the game was canceled,” Stewart said. “We felt really confident in our finishing and just our transition and overall play, and we were determined to bring it out early in this game, and they did.”
North scored twice in the first 12 minutes. Baleigh Drum finished a cross from Kristen Orben in the sixth minute, and Natalie Teo headed in a free kick from Drum in the 12th.
The score stayed 2-0 until halftime, but then just as they did in the first half, the Bull Dogs struck twice early in the second half. Tanner Johnson scored on a breakaway after a pass from Addy Lang in the 42nd minute, then Lang finished a cross from Kristen Orben in the 49th.
North made it 5-0 when Chloe Chambers scored off an assist from Katlin Meek in the 68th minute. Lang added the final goal off a pass from Corrine Orben in the 78th.
“We had some really great finishing opportunities, and we took advantage of those and we had a lot of goals from a lot of different positions,” Stewart said.
Lang’s two goals were her first in almost two years. She scored 25 goals as a sophomore, but missed all of last season with a torn ACL.
“It was awesome,” Lang said. “I obviously didn’t do it by myself. My team helped a lot. We were actually connecting the passes. Everybody played really well together. We got our rhythm and played with unity. We thought we were going to be really good so we kind of just proved how we felt we were going to play.”
The Olympians’ best scoring chance came in the 58th minute when Kamebry Wagner put one off the left post.
The Bull Dogs outshot East 20-5, putting 12 shots on goal to two for the Olympians. Liz Tynan played the first half in goal for North, making two saves, and Charlotte Verbanic did not face a shot on goal while playing the second half.
Brooke Hamblen played the first 68 minutes in goal for East and posted three saves. Jenny Bastian recorded three saves over the final 12 minutes.
The Olympians played without one of their top defenders, center back Morgan Martindale, who is recovering from a concussion.
“Morgan is an important part of our defense, but we have a lot of high-quality players,” East coach Ilya Schwartzman said. “Injuries happen in soccer. A lot of girls stepped up tonight and put in a pretty good effort. It just wasn’t our night night.”