City girls soccer supremacy won’t be decided for another six weeks.
Thanks to Saturday night’s 1-1 tie between Columbus East and Columbus North, neither team will have bragging rights until the sectional the second week of October. Unlike the postseason, no overtimes are played in regular-season soccer.
The Bull Dogs did have a shot advantage, outshooting the Olympians 24-18. North put 13 shots on goal to six for East.
“I thought the first 15-20 minutes, we came out really strong and created a lot of opportunities,” North coach Derek Stewart said. “We just need to capitalize on them, and I think we’ll do a better job of that going forward.”
The Bull Dogs (1-1-1) had the run of play in the first 10 minutes, but the Olympians (1-2-1) came the closest to scoring in the first half when Elisa Watkins put a free kick from the right corner off the crossbar in the 33rd minute.
Watkins made the most of her second big opportunity in the 47th minute. She took a throw-in from Danielle Rodgers and sending a high arcing ball from 30 yards over North keeper Kyra Dasovich’s head and into the net.
“After that hit the crossbar, I knew my chances were going to be limited, and I had to take it when I did,” Watkins said. “My teammates set me up for a great ball, and they did a great job, too. I was just in the right spot at the right time.”
The Bull Dogs nearly tied the game in the 55th minute, but East keeper Bryn Eudy made a leaping save, tipping a Shelby Ross shot over the crossbar.
Eudy made another big save in the 70th minute when she deflected a point-blank shot from Katie Carlson after Ross sent a cross to the right post. But the ball ricocheted right back to Carlson, who put it in the net for a 1-1 tie.
North had a couple more chances in the final 10 minutes, and the tie wasn’t a given until Natalie Teo sent a shot just wide right at the final horn.
“We knew that we had to out there and play as hard as we could and not let down and not give up on ourselves, so we had the same intensity that we should have started with in the beginning and we tied it,” Carlson said. “It would have been nice to win it, but we’re ready to play up to our full potential this year.”
Eudy finished with 12 saves for East. Dasovich, filling in for the injured Charlotte Verbanic, had five saves for the Bull Dogs.
The Olympians had beaten North twice last year, including in the sectional before going on to capture a regional title.
“Doc (East coach Ilya Schwartzman) was even saying this isn’t the best we can play, and we all know that,” Watkins said. “But to come out and with what we went through losing our past two games, we definitely played with some heart, and we had great teamwork out there.”
“I think we’re capable of playing better,” Schwartzman said. “I think we can stay connected better and get our passing game a little bit better. But right now, we are still hurting. We have a number of players hurt, and everybody gave their 100 percent tonight and played as a team.”