For the Columbus East High School boys soccer team, practice made perfect.
Trying to put away a determined New Albany squad on Saturday in their 3-0 victory at Wigh Soccer Complex, the Olympians were protecting a 1-0 lead and fighting a strong wind that was against them in the second half.
Then, finally, East senior Cameron Layman worked a play he had been practicing all week. Standing to the left of the goal, Layman went back out in front of the goal with a header, instead of right at New Albany goalie Ryan Castleberry, who had been rock solid all game.
Fellow senior Mitchell Tabler took Layman’s pass and had an easy boot into the net with Castleberry out of position trying to defend Layman. The score with 10:54 remaining gave East the cushion it needed, then Drew Herron booted a rebound into the net 90 seconds later to complete the scoring.
“We’ve been working on that play, so as a coach, you couldn’t be happier than to see it result in a goal,” said East coach Brad Barber.
Although East, 10-3-1 overall and 5-0-1 Hoosier Hills Conference, didn’t put the game away until late, it dominated possession and had far more scoring opportunities than the Bulldogs.
“We’re playing some strong soccer,” Barber said. “That was our fourth shutout in a row. I can’t remember the last time we’ve had four shutouts in a row ... 320 minutes without a goal.
“Our defense, Adam Wallace, Roberto Garcia, Luis Sanchez, Zack Herron and our goalie, JB Baxter, all played well. Those guys don’t get mentioned often.”
Tabler scored East’s first two goals, including the only goal of the first half when Colin Singer recognized that he was breaking free and booted the ball far down the field and allowed Tabler to outrun the defenders to it.
“Today we had some great pressure on them and we executed,” said Tabler, who left the game in the first half with cramps but came back to score in the second half.
“Tabler and Singer make us a team that can possess the ball,” Barber said. “And our other players feed off those two players.”
East now faces host Jeffersonville on Saturday in a game that should decide the league championship.
Floyd Central blanks Panthers
FLOYDS KNOBS — Jennings County couldn’t find the net in a 3-0 HHC loss to Floyd Central. Aidan Miller recorded eight saves.
The Panthers won the junior varsity game 1-0 on a goal by Kyle Lewis. Jackson Shepherd notched eight saves, and Connor Hignite added seven.
Patriots edge Eagles
SPENCER — Owen Valley broke a 1-1 halftime tie to claim a 2-1 Western Indiana Conference win over Brown County.
Collin Graeber scored the goal for the Eagles (8-4-2, 2-6-3) on an assist from Lucas Pela. Reid Johnson recorded five saves.
East goes 2-2 at Muncie
MUNCIE — Class 4A No. 3 Columbus East downed Shenandoah 25-18, 25-13 and Elkhart Memorial 25-16, 25-23 before suffering its first losses of the year to 3A No. 7 Muncie Central 25-19, 25-21 and 4A No. 4 Avon 25-19, 25-18 to finish fourth in the Muncie Central Invitational.
Sara Bean pounded 26 kills, Faith Myers recorded 58 assists, Erin Mack had four block assists, Courtney Ping added 27 digs and Alexa Husmann-Miller served five aces in the four matches for the Olympians (16-2).
Panthers take JC quad
NORTH VERNON — Jennings County swept East Central 25-27, 25-16, 15-7; Scottsburg 25-7, 25-6 and Connersville 25-10, 25-8 to win the Jennings County Quad.
Emily Ertel led the Panthers with 25 kills and seven blocks in the three matches. Lucy Hearne recorded 43 assists, Dani Kirchner had 19 digs and Monica Barringer served eight aces.
Jennings’ JV lost to East Central 25-23, 25-24 and beat Scottsburg 25-20, 25-21 and Connersville 25-10, 25-22.
Trinity wins Cougar Invitational
SEYMOUR — Class A No. 7 Trinity Lutheran downed Rising Sun 25-12, 25-7, Brown County 25-19, 20-25, 15-12 and Crothersville 25-9, 27-25 to win its Cougar Invitational.
Sarah Stuckwisch led Trinity (19-2) with 41 kills and 16 blocks in the three matches. Hannah Barker recorded 64 assists, Kyra Klosterman had 31 digs and Hayley Barker served 12 aces.
Brown County beat Rising Sun 25-12, 25-12 and Crothersville 25-22, 25-23 in its first two matches. Morgan Dobbs tallied 25 kills and six blocks, Kari Barnett recorded 6-0 assists, Lizzie Jackson had six blocks, Maddison Taylor added 29 digs and five aces and Jessica Hoskins served five aces for the Eagles (15-4).
Olympians suffer first loss
GREENWOOD — No. 9 Columbus East beat East Central 2-0 before enduring its first loss of the season, a 5-3 setback at No. 18 Center Grove.
Kristen Bellinger and Molly Connor scored goals against East Central. Olivia Darnell. Kirstin Kulich and Spencer Eudy each recorded eight saves.
Emma Dwenger scored all three goals against Center Grove for the Olympians (14-1-1). Sydney Newell, Danielle Rodgers and Eudy had the assists. Kulich posted eight saves, and Eudy added five.
Eagles fall to Greencastle
NASHVILLE — Brown County suffered its first WIC loss of the season, a 1-0 setback to Greencastle.
Arielle Suhre recorded five saves for the Eagles (7-5-1, 3-1-1).
North girls fourth at Culver
CULVER — Mackenzie Caldwell finished fourth in 17 minutes, 52.4 seconds, missing the school record she set last week by two-tenths of a second, in leading fifth-ranked Columbus North to a fourth-place team finish in the girls open race at the Culver Invitational.
Top-ranked Carmel won with 66 points to 104 for No. 2 West Lafayette. Mason (Ohio) took third with 126, and the Bull Dogs finished with 155.
Rachael Sollman finished sixth in 18:09. Sierra Lax took 19th (18:47), while Nina Bouthier was 47th (19:36) and Morgan Neal 79th (20:14).
The No. 9 North boys finished eighth with 261 points in an Open race won by Cincinnati St. Xavier. Karson Tays took 18th in 15:56, while Andy Carr was 33rd (16:12), Seth Williams 55th (16:26), Kaden Eaton 60th (16:27) and Chris Von Hoene 95th (16:46).
Brown County finished eighth in the boys closed race and 18th in the girls closed race. Alden Westcott took 16th in 16:47, and Connor Guingrich was 38th in 17:26 to lead the boys. For the girls, Rose Guingrich finished 17th in 20:38.
East girls fourth at Southport
SOUTHPORT — The Columbus East girls finished fourth in the Southport Invitational, one point behind the host school. No. 21 Zionsville won with 26 points to 79 for Brownsburg.
Morgan Ketron led the Olympians with a 19th-place finish in 21:20.58. Kira Singer took 23rd in 21:34.93, while Laura Barkes was 30th (22:03.24), Rachel Foley 31st (22:04.47) and Allie Newell 34th (22:07.47).
The East boys finished sixth with 172 points in a meet won by No. 24 Zionsville. Clayton Johnson and Jordan Foster finished 24th and 25th in 17:29.32 and 17:32.20, while Jacob Bostic was 41st (18:09.04), Paul Baker 43rd (18:13.92) and Tyler Lyons 44th (18:22.70).
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