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COLUMBIA CITY — The Columbia City Eagles boys’ soccer team had trouble generating an offense against a quick DeKalb Baron squad, fighting a tight passing attack the first half and the wind during the second.
This combination kept the ball in the Columbia City half of the field for most of the game. The Barons got two scores in the second half to hand the Eagles a 2-0 Northeast Hoosier Conference loss Tuesday night at the Max Gandy Athletic Field.
The contest opened with DeKalb working against the wind. The Barons employed a short passing control game which allowed them to work against a stiff breeze. The Eagles had a bit more difficulty working with the wind, pressing a bit and trying longer passes that ended up on the feet of the Barons a great deal of the time.
“When they were going into the wind they were doing exactly what their coach told them and what we told our boys before the match; if we were going into the wind we needed short passes and controlled passing,” noted Eagle head coach Chris Bechtold. “We wanted to possess the ball and build the offense, but we got a little over-aggressive in the first half, sending the ball a little too long instead of finding feet.”
In the second half the Eagles were working against the wind and the Barons made it difficult for Columbia City to get out of its end of the field. The Eagles only mounted three or four good runs at the Baron goal.
“I actually thought after half-time that we were going to go into overtime and penalty kicks, as tough as the defense that we were playing was,” Bechtold said.
DeKalb broke through at the 29:33 mark of the second half when senior midfielder Alex Williams scored on a sharp angle from the right hand side after a run along the end line beat CC keeper Nick Hatfield to the far post.
“After their first goal we tried to get the ball over the top on defense and the wind just took it and that made it tough to clear,” Bechtold noted.
The Barons added a second goal with 17:35 left in the game when a long, with-the-wind punt by the Baron keeper bounced high and over the Eagle defense after being touched by one of the Eagle defenders for an own goal and a 2-0 win for the Barons.
The Eagles totaled 10 shots while the Barons got off 29.
Columbia City keeper Hatfield recorded 15 saves on the game. The Eagles record falls to 3-4 overall, and 1-2 in the Northeast Hoosier Conference.
The Columbia City JV broke a 3-3 tie with 25:01 left in the game when Jose Perez lofted a ball over the keeper from about 20 yards out on the right side. Joining Perez in scoring for the Eagle JV were Zach Koch with two free-kick goals and Cesar Munoz.
The Eagles return to action Monday when they travel to New Haven for another NHC contest.