Floyd Central blanks East boys for HHC lead

Columbus East entered the week as one of three boys soccer teams unbeaten in the Hoosier Hills Conference, and the Olympians had home matchups against the other two.

Tuesday night, East fell out of the HHC title chase with a 1-0 loss to Floyd Central in a game played on the grass field at the Richard Wigh Soccer Complex.

The Highlanders (7-2-3, 4-0-1) scored the game’s lone goal in the 31st minute when Dakota Hart connected. With the Olympians already having two ties in the conference, and Floyd Central having only one tie, East needed a win to stay alive in the conference race, meaning it essentially faced a two-goal deficit.

The Olympians (2-6-4, 1-1-2) had a couple of chances to tie in the second half. Huestin De Los Santos had a point-blank shot saved in the 61st minute, and Eduardo Aranda Michel put one off the crossbar in the 78th minute.

“I think we had the ability to win that game,” East coach Josh Gonsior said. “Just knowing that we’ve struggled to score the ball this year, there was some of that concern in the back of my mind. I knew how we have been playing, and we were capable of getting those goals. It was just a matter of putting it in the back of the net, and we weren’t able to do that today, and Floyd was, and they came out on top.”

The Highlanders outshot East 14-6, putting eight shots on goal to three for the Olympians. East’s Pete Coriden posted seven saves.

“We’re going to have to put it in the net if we’re going to have any chance of moving on in the sectional,” Gonsior said. “Hopefully, we get to that point. All we can do is keep grinding and putting in the work.”