It was senior night for the Columbus East girls soccer team Tuesday night. Seven seniors were honored with a pregame ceremony.
But it would be the underclassmen that would send the seniors home happy.
The Olympians finally broke through in the 58th minute when freshman Lindsey Stoughton received a cross from freshman Jaeda Berkemeier to break open the scoring.
East would cruise from there and put away Jeffersonville 5-0. The Olympians (6-5-1, 5-0-1) remain unbeaten in Hoosier Hills Conference play.
“Our coach (Ilya Schwartzman) told us that we had to be prepared mentally for the game,” East senior goalkeeper and co-captain Brooke Hamblen said. “Especially with the emotional aspect of it being senior night, but we had to prepare like we would prepare if it was a normal game.”
Olympians senior co-captain Mila Lipinski said that it took a full team effort for the win.
“It is not just about us. This is about the team and putting a team together that can finish and score and be as great as we know we can be,” Lipinski said.
Schwartzman praised the seniors on his team.
“They are very hard workers, great leaders and just outstanding people,” he said. “It is a group that will absolutely be missed. It was a special night for them and great recognition for them. The team kept working for them and gave them a nice celebration.”
East junior Addy Galarno scored a hat trick. Her first goal came in the 67th minute when Berkemeier’s shot was right off the hands of Jeffersonville goalkeeper Faith Denig, but Galarno was there for the tap-in kick in the rebound.
Galarno added another goal in the 74th minute. Her third and final goal came in the 79th minute.
Maya Federle scored the final goal in the 80th minute when she booted it outside the goal box that took a fortunate bounce off the post and in the net.
East is clearly in the driver’s seat to capture the HHC title, and the Olympians hope this win will give them plenty of momentum going forward.
“The potential we see in our teammates is there, and our faith in each other is worth having,” Lipinski said.
“We need to make sure we are still acting as a team,” she said. “We still have not reached our peak yet. If we keep building off each game and practice and learning from our mistakes, we can only go up.”