East girls fall to Batesville

Trailing 2-0 midway through the second half Thursday night, the Columbus East girls soccer team seized a little momentum.

But less than two minutes after getting on the board to cut the deficit to one, Batesville came right back with an answer. The Bulldogs went on to add another insurance goal to post a 4-1 victory.

“I thought the group that went in gave us a little boost of energy, and I thought they did a really nice job,” East coach Ilya Schwartzman said. “But Batesville responded very quickly, and unfortunately, we weren’t able to slow their attack down very much and they got a very nice goal to put the game away.”

The Bulldogs (10-1) scored the only goal of the first half in the 18th minute. Taylor Rowlett was taken down in the box and converted the penalty kick.

Batesville made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute when Georgia Gratz stuck in a rebound off a save by Olympians keeper Brooke Hamblen.

East’s goal came in the 59th minute. Kamebry Wagler took a pass from Jada Berkemeier and put one in from the left side of the box.

But then in the 61st minute, the Bulldogs’ Carlie Werner, who plays on the Columbus Express club team with East freshmen Lindsey Stoughton and Maya Federle, finished a cross. Then in the 72nd minute, Gratz added her second goal to make it 4-1.

“Batesville is a very good team,” Schwartzman said. “They play very nice soccer, and tonight, they just were a better team. We tried to pressure them, but they were just a little bit quicker on the ball. We had a lot of kids who played hard and tried hard, but just weren’t connecting, and we weren’t taking advantage of our opportunities. But give it to Batesville — I think they played a very nice game.”

The Bulldogs outshot the Olympians 22-10, putting 14 shots on goal to five for East (6-6-1). Hamblen finished with 10 saves.

The Olympians will play Class 2A No. 11 East Central and Class A No. 15 Oldenburg Academy in Saturday’s Center Grove Classic. East will then wrap up the regular season Thursday at Seymour before playing in the Columbus North Sectional.

“We do have things to work on,” Schwartzman said. “But hopefully, we’ll bring the right attitude and the right energy and come back strong. This team is pretty resilient. We’ve been through a lot this season, and we keep rebounding.”

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.