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NORTH VERNON — The Columbus East boys soccer team created shots in the first half against Jennings County but was unable to put goals on the board.
The second half was a different story though, as the Olympians scored five goals to put away the Panthers 5-0 in Hoosier Hills Conference play.
East (6-3-2, 3-0-0) controlled the pace for much of the match, creating shots early from forward Drew Herron, who fired two consecutive shots on goal only to be denied by Panthers goalkeeper Aidan Miller.
Olympians midfielder Alex Staggs also created many opportunities on goal, including a shot from outside the box that missed the goal by inches. Sophomore midfielder Sam Newell had many attempts at corner kicks, but they were easily denied by the stable Panthers defense.
Junior goalie JB Baxter kept the Panthers from getting hardly any chances at goal throughout most of the match, as a late corner went close to Baxter but was deflected with seconds remaining in the half.
The numerous shots from the first half paid off early in the second for the Olympians, as sophomore defender Jakob Branum hit a goal from close to 40 yards away to provide the spark the team needed.
Olympians coach Brad Barber said that Branum’s goal gave the rest of the team hope for the rest of the match.
“Branum’s goal set the tone for our offensive attack,” Barber said. “He gave the rest of our guys a chance in creating more shots.”
Junior forward Drew Herron kept the momentum going for the Olympians, scoring off a free kick attempt that deflected off a defender and executed a shot just outside the box. Senior defender Adam Wallace followed Herron’s goal with one of his own, 20 seconds after the previous goal on a break down the middle.
Senior forward Patrick Foley closed the game out with two straight goals, both from quick breaks from defenders, creating openings past Miller.
Barber said that the team was able to keep the Panthers from creating opportunities due to the numerous shots the Olympians made.
“If we could keep possession and create opportunities, we were going to do well,” Barber said. “We were able to keep possession for a good deal of the second half and keep the momentum going until the clock ran out.”
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