In the first half, Columbus East stood tall against Class 2A No. 10 Bloomington South in Monday night boys soccer game, with both teams having equal opportunities to get on the scoreboard.
In the second half, the Panthers wasted no time getting their offense in rhythm.
In the 43rd minute, Antonio Alicea received a pass in the middle of the field just inside the box. Alicea’s hard kick just snuck inside the right post to give them the lead.
Bloomington South added a couple of insurance goals later in the second half, and the Olympians could not find their stride on offense in a 3-0 loss.
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“I thought in the first half that we executed our game plan really well,” East coach Brad Barber said. “They had a little bit more possession, but we were as about even as them on dangerous shot opportunities, and to be 0-0 at the half, I felt pretty good.”
Regardless of the final score, Barber praised his defense, which had allowed only one goal in the six previous games.
“I think our defense still continues to play very strong,” Barber said. “I think this was also one of our better games from our goalkeeper, Zach Roberts. We defended well as 11 guys, but our back four has done outstanding.”
The second goal of the game for the Panthers came in the 63rd minute after a yellow card was issued on the Olympians. Ben Yeagley received the cross off the free kick and knocked it in the net.
In the 75th minute, Bloomington South was awarded another free kick off a foul. John Bannec scored off the pass from Yakob Wells.
East finished with seven shots, but only one on goal. The Panthers took 13 shots, with seven on goal, most of which came in the second half. Roberts recorded four saves.
“(Bloomington South’s) athleticism and movement of the ball showed they are a really good ball club,” Barber said. “When we gave up the first goal, we switched tactics a bit to get more scoring opportunities, but ended up conceding two more goals. This was a fine showing by our team, and it will help us in the long run as we get ready for sectional.”