A steady rain that lasted throughout the first half slowed the Columbus North and Columbus East offenses Saturday night.
But after about an hour lightning delay during halftime, the rain stopped, and the Bull Dog offense found its rhythm. Tanner Johnson netted a pair of second half goals to give North a 2-0 lead and the East Sectional title.
“I just told them that it’s wet, and the ball is going to stick a lot; just play extremely conservative,” North coach Derek Stewart said. “I thought we played more direct and more long balls.”
The Bull Dogs (12-3-2) advance to the Bloomington South Regional, where they will play Floyd Central in the semifinals at 10 a.m. Saturday. The regional championship will be at 7 p.m. Saturday.
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The Olympians (10-6-2) actually had the first big scoring opportunity in the second half, but Alana Dwenger’s cross just missed a charging Addy Galarno at the far post in the 43rd minute. In the 46th minute, Johnson took a lead pass from Corrine Orben and beat East keeper Jenny Bastian.
Orben said the Bull Dogs were able to stay loose during the long delay.
“We were just listening to music and staying pumped up,” she said.
East had a couple of chanced to tie. North keeper Liz Tynan made a sliding stop on a Kamebry Wagner shot in the 69th minute, and Maya Federle put a shot just over the goal in the 71st minute.
The Bull Dogs put it away in the 78th minute when Johnson scored after Caroline Hollenkamp’s free kick bounced off Bastian.
“Under the conditions, they played extremely well,” Stewart said. “They were going in solid with tackles. They were a little bit more aggressive the second half chasing down those second balls. The ball would stop in the puddle, and they were right there with it. Then, Tanner finishing off those goals again, she’s just on a run right now and just playing extremely well.”
North outshot the Olympians 20-8, putting 11 shots on goal to five for East. Tynan finished with five saves in her second consecutive shutout.
Bastian recorded nine saves for East.
“I think we played as well as the weather conditions allowed us,” East coach Ilya Schwartzman said. “The kids played really hard, and I’m proud of their efforts. I think we created some chances, and they put a couple of chances away, and we weren’t able to. In the end, I’m very proud of the season. I thought we had a great chance tonight, but we had to play 12 with the weather the way it was.”