The Columbus East boys soccer team had many shots on goal in the first half Monday night but could not find a way to break through against Jennings County.
In the second half, everything changed.
The Olympians’ goals were aplenty in the second half. Four different players scored to give East a 4-0 Hoosier Hills Conference shutout.
The breakthrough started for the Olympians in the 49th minute when Landon Miles received a pass off Justin Copas and put it in the net.
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“We played how we usually play in the first half, but we made our adjustments,” Miles said. “When we did that, it helped us get more opportunities and goals in the second half.”
East (5-4, 2-1) has now won three in a row. Olympians coach Brad Barber praised his defense, which has now given up only two goals in their past four matches.
“We played our style of soccer for 80 minutes, and I was happy the goals finally came,” Barber said. “This win is also a tribute to how great our starting back four of Miles, (Graydon) Chisholm, (Scott) Hammond, and (Ricky) Sanchez played the last few games.”
The Panthers (1-8, 0-4), though, stood every test that East gave them in the first half.
“I was happy with the way they competed,” Jennings coach Brad Morris said. “We started to run out of gas a bit, and then the balls bounced Columbus East’s way. Once one goal got in, it started coming by numbers, but overall, I was pleased with how they played in the first 55 minutes.”
The Olympians extended their lead in the 53rd minute when Eli Newell kicked it in from just inside the box. East added another goal in the 66th minute when Antony Espinoza tapped it in after a couple of deflections.
The final goal came in the 78th minute when Nicholas Shedd took a couple of touches from the right side and delivered a perfect pass to Jorge Nieto, whose hard kick sailed passed Panthers goalkeeper Luke Bowling and into the net.
East finished with 36 shots, with 21 of them on goal. Jennings had seven shots, with one on goal.
The Panthers suffered an injury in the 45th minute when Justin Copeland fell down hard, and was on the ground for several minutes. The initial diagnosis is a sprained ankle.
“He can move his ankle in all directions, but it is just sore right now,” Morris said. “I was very pleased it was not anything worse than that.”