COLUMBUS, Ind. — Fellow soccer coaches have told Andy Glover that the most important parts of a game are the first and last five minutes of each half.
His Columbus North team didn’t need the entire first five minutes to make a statement Saturday night. The Bull Dogs did it in 31 seconds.
Brad Shaw dribbled down the left side and passed to Keaton Voegerl, who crossed a ball in the box to a waiting Ethan Smith, who headed it into the goal. North added a second-half goal to post a 2-0 win over Columbus East.
“It was pretty crazy,” Smith said. “I didn’t expect that at all. Keaton crossed a perfect ball. I couldn’t ask for a better ball.”
“It was nice,” Glover said. “That moment is reflective of what I think we need to be looking to achieve in terms of creating a platform to attack on a much more regular basis. It was clean right from the whistle.”
Despite not allowing a shot on goal until the final six minutes of the first half and allowing only one second-half shot, the Bull Dogs (1-1) couldn’t add to their lead until the 61st minute. Shaw placed a pass from the top of the box to the center of the box, where Tony Gonzales slid it in.
“We had a a good week, coming in with two big wins before this match, and in those two matches, we played 70 minutes of good soccer,” East coach Brad Barber said. “Right at the start, we gave up that early goal, but I was proud that we really fought back and kept competitive and continued to compete.
“As the first half wore on, we started getting more opportunities,” he said. “The middle of that second half, I felt like we were combining, and it looked like the team that we saw the first two games. But it wasn’t 80 minutes of good soccer that we need, and it’s something we need to improve on.”
North finished with a 19-7 shot advantage, putting 11 shots on goal to three for the Olympians (3-2). East’s JB Baxter recorded 11 saves, while Ben Davis had three saves for the Bull Dogs.
“There were moments where we could have played better,” Smith said. “We had spells where we were very good, and we had spells where we were I guess checked out, but overall, we played very well.”
“I feel we had spurts where we were starting to show moments where we could reach our potential,” Glover said. “I was telling the team here tonight we need to work on consistency. I feel that we performed well, but we have high aims, and we’ll continue to work on being a little more consistent as the season wears on, but for this state of the season, I think we did well.”