Columbus East will get a chance at another soccer sectional championship after dismantling Scottsburg 5-0 Wednesday night in Class 2A semifinal action.
The Olympians once again will take on host Columbus North for the title at 7 p.m. Saturday.
East wasted little time taking control of its battle against Scottsburg, attacking the Warriors’ defense from all angles, but didn’t notch its first score until the 13th minute. Senior Cameron Layman intercepted a pass from Scottsburg goalkeeper Carter Robbins and worked his way through a cluster of defenders for the unassisted score.
“I noticed (Robbins) kicked it short, so I capitalized on it,” Layman said. “I think the goal calmed us down, and we finally got things going.”
Actually, the O’s (14-3-1) went almost another 20 minutes of near-misses before blasting in a pair of quick scores to push the lead to 3-0 at intermission.
Alex Staggs’ shot attempt bounced off a defender, but freshman Adam Krebs was there for the deflection and score in the 31st minute. Layman then struck again less than a minute later after taking a pass from Zack Herron and firing past Robbins, who garnered six saves in the first half and 10 for the game.
“We created a lot of scoring opportunities,” East coach Brad Barber said. “It just took a little longer to find the net. Once we went wide, we were able to break things open.”
East recorded nearly 20 shots on-goal in the first 40 minutes and continued its assault in the second half, attempting another five shots in the first nine minutes. Persistence paid off again in the 61st minute, when sophomore Drew Herron gathered in a loose pass and scored to make it 4-0.
The Warriors struggled against the Olympians’ aggression, getting very few chances to puncture the East defense. A pair of attempts was easily snuffed out by East goalkeeper JB Baxter, who saw even less action come his way in the second half.
Scottsburg senior Tyler Halbert provided his team’s best chance at scoring with 13:09 remaining in the second half, but his breakaway attempt sailed wide of the net, and the O’s rebooted their offensive attack one more time.
Junior Patrick Foley scored the final goal of the night, slicing in an unassisted kick in the 75th minute.
“I’m proud our reserves got to play,” Barber said. “They are the players who get us ready so we can play aggressive and be successful.”