From the opening whistle, the Columbus North girls soccer team could not find any rhythm to get them- selves going in the first half Saturday.
It would prove costly.
Class 2A No. 17 Terre Haute North found its breakthrough in the 27th minute. The 2A No. 19 Bull Dogs had trouble clearing out the ball defensively, and after several deflections, Liz Humphrey made the turn and found the net to put the Patriots ahead.
That goal ended up as the difference as Columbus North fell 1-0 at Richard Wigh Soccer Complex. This is the Bull Dogs first loss of the season.
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“Terre Haute North is a quality team, and they have a nice group of players that play very well,” Columbus North coach Derek Stewart said. “They were physical and won a lot of 50-50 balls.”
The Bull Dogs (6-1-2) did not go down quietly. They gave themselves plenty of chances to tie the game in the second half.
Midway through the second half, they really started putting a lot of pressure on the Patriots. Reagan Ward had a couple of shot opportunities, but both of them went just wide of the goal.
In the closing minutes of the game, Baleigh Drum also had an opportunity. She found herself in a foot race with Patriots goalkeeper Megan Benefiel for a 50-50 ball inside the goal box. But Drum was just a fraction of a second short getting to the ball.
“We had plenty of opportunities late in the game, and it could have been a tie real easy,” Stewart said. “We switched our formation to give us an extra person forward so we could have more offense in the second half. We were down a goal, so we just had to keep pushing. I thought we played well, and I was proud of our group today.”
In the first half, Addy Lang almost scored, but her header went right at the hands of Benefiel in the 13th minute. In the 21st minute, Natalie Teo kicked the ball right at the goalkeeper, who bobbled for the ball at first but was able to collect her own rebound.
Columbus North had eight shots, with four on goal. Liz Tynan recorded three saves.
With both teams earning top seeds for the Conference Indiana tournament that will be played Saturday in Terre Haute, the two teams could meet again for the championship.