To say that the Columbus East girls soccer team’s offense was “clicking” would be an understatement.
The Olympians put up eight goals, six in the second half, to roll past New Palestine 8-1.
East coach Ilya Schwartzman said the team played smart and created opportunities to score.
“I thought in the first half we dominated,” Schwartzman said. “We made a couple of decisions in the first half we could’ve done better and played intelligent soccer.”
The first half looked close on paper, but the Olympians offense was causing problems for Dragons’ goalie Gabbi Pierson, led by early shots from junior Molly Connor that just missed and sailed wide.
Connor followed those opportunities with a shot from the side of the box with a goal that was assisted by senior Sydney Newell.
East (5-0-1) created many chances in the first half to cause problems for the Dragons defense, but wide shots from outside the box prevented the Olympians from scoring.
“We got a little anxious and played the ball a little too quick.” Schwartzman said.
Newell scored the second goal of the game off a long pass from junior Kristen Bellinger to put the team two scores up, but a late score by Dragons’ Katie Villiger up the middle kept the game close.
Newell said that her goal was in part to the offense’s strong passing game.
“A bunch of soccer is moving off the ball.” Newell said. “Kristen did most of the work with my goal and set me up beautifully.”
Senior Molly Macy led the team with a hat trick, with all three goals scored seven minutes into the second half, and provided an assist to junior Bailey Dowd for another score.
Macy said that improving on the first half was her main focus.
“I felt like the first goal (by New Palestine) was my fault,” Macy said. “So I just wanted to be able to help the team out and be able to control the game in the second half.”
Senior Hayden Lang kept the fast-paced offense moving with a goal assisted by Newell, while senior Hannah Park finished the game with a goal that was assisted by senior Amy Hanson with less than a minute remaining.
Newell said that the team has been communicating better and working together.
“You just have to look for your teammates making runs like we did.” Newell said.
The defensive pressure by the Olympians kept the Dragons from getting to their half of the field and creating scoring opportunities.
“They came out and just executed in the second half, and the scoreboard showed that.” Schwartzman said. “We can still improve, every game we learn something about ourselves.”