Holding a two-goal lead heading into halftime Tuesday night, the Columbus East boys soccer team knew it couldn’t turn off the pressure against Hoosier Hills Conference foe Bedford North Lawrence.
The Olympians came out aggressive to begin the second half, scoring two goals in the first three minutes en route to a 6-0 victory, putting to rest any comeback the Stars had in mind.
“A 2-0 lead in soccer is the most dangerous lead,” East coach Brad Barber said he told his team at the half. “The attacking team feels like they have won the game, and the team that is down feels like they’re just in the game. So we have to be mentally tough to know that that third goal may break their spirit.”
Less than a minute into the second half, Dustin Rodgers scurried down the field, weaving through defenders and finding an open Jorge Nieto the extend the lead to 3-0.
“We noticed that their defense was dropping back, so there was opening space in the middle,” Nieto said of East’s halftime adjustments. “We talked about finishing strong and not letting them come out and get a goal early on, so we came out and put a couple quick goals in the back of the net.”
Jayvon Thomas found the net two minutes later for the Olympians on Justin Copas’ second assist of the night, putting away the Stars for good.
East (4-2-2, 2-1) came out strong to begin the game, controlling the ball and tempo early on. At the eight-minute mark, Rodgers put his first goal of the night into the net off an assist from Copas. Rodgers would then extend the lead in the 25th minute, scoring off an assist from Eli Newell.
Later in the second half, Nieto would tack on his second goal on the night in the 54th minute. Antony Espinoza put the icing on the cake with a goal in the final minute of the game.
The Olympians had 16 shots on goal, compared to just three for the Stars. Andy Davidson saved all three of those shots for East.