Panthers hold off Olympians’ comeback attempt

Columbus East girls soccer coach Illya Schwartzman said his team played hard against Bloomington South on Monday night, but he said he thought the girls could have made better decisions with the ball.

Bloomington South took a two-goal lead and held off the Olympians to break its two-game losing streak in a 2-1 victory.

Schwartzman said his players were creating opportunities but had trouble executing on those chances.

“We still have some work to do getting organized and communicating,” Schwartzman said. “We have the kids who are giving us the effort. We need to make sure the effort is going along with the intent that needs to be done on the soccer field.”

The Panthers (3-2) scored the first goal in the 15th minute when Emi McClaine struck off an assist by Gaelle Wells. Bloomington South’s Riley Lukens assisted to Kristen Ridner for the second goal in the 60th minute.

East’s Sarah Park scored less than two minutes later from an Emily Stiles assist to cut the lead to 2-1. The Olympians (0-2) had a couple of good opportunities to score after that but could not finish the play.

Jenny Bastian had eight saves for the Olympians, while Karisma Parker added one on the Panthers’ 11 shots on goal.

Bloomington South had six saves on East’s seven shots on goal.

Olympians junior Annie Bastian was sidelined in the 12th minute of the game with a twisted ankle. Schwartzman said her exit certainly made a big difference since the team had to adjust its whole lineup after the injury. Schwartzman and the training staff will check in with Annie Bastian tomorrow to see how she is feeling and proceed from there.

“That’s when the next person needs to step up and take responsibility and deliver what needs to be done,” Schwartzman said.

Schwartzman liked what he saw out of his center backs, Morgan Martindale and Breiana Burton. He said they did a very good job of overall covering and providing a cornerstone for the defense.

East will try and build on that for its next game, which will be against Columbus North at 8 p.m. Saturday.

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Frank Bonner is a sports writer for The Republic. He can be reached at fbonner@therepublic.com or 812-379-5632.