It took a while for Columbus East to break open the scoring in its girls soccer sectional semifinal match Thursday night. Madison stacked extra defenders in the back that clogged up much space for the Olympians to do a lot of damage.
In the second half, the Cubs started to make some mistakes, and East took advantage of them.
Right at the kickoff to start the second half, no one from Madison saw Kamebry Wagner on the far right side of the field. The Olympians saw Wagner and gave her ball and her kick just squeaked inside the left post to give East the lead.
That was all the Olympians needed in what would become a 2-0 victory.
“We went to a different formation that put pressure on (Madison’s) defense,” East coach Ilya Schwartzman said. “Kamebry did a great job with getting the ball on the wing and a great finish.”
The Olympians (9-6-2) move on to face crosstown rival Columbus North, in Saturday’s 2 p.m. final. The Bull Dogs beat Seymour 6-0 in Thursday’s first semifinal.
“It is going to be much more intense than when we played them the first time in the regular season,” said East senior goalkeeper and co-captain Brooke Hamblen. “There is a lot more on the line this time. We have been working a lot on high pressure situations, so I think if we just play our game, stay under control and calm, we have a good chance.”
The second goal for the Olympians came in the 68th minute when a free kick taken by Emily Stiles on the far right side of the field sailed over everyone and in the net.
“Emily hit a great direct kick, and she has been doing that all season,” Schwartzman said.
East survived a brief scare in the first half when a foul was called, and the Cubs were awarded a penalty kick. But Hope Story’s kick just missed to the left of the post.
Hamblen recorded the shutout for the Olympians. East had 20 shots, with 12 of them on goal. Madison finished with two shots and zero on goal.
East now has its sights set on North.
“I think they will be ready and will be excited,” Schwartzman said. “It’s going to be a great matchup, and I certainly anticipate that we will come out and play strong and play well balanced soccer like we are capable of doing.”