Late goal hands Eagles first loss of the season
COLUMBIA CITY — Soccer is a sport of sudden changes. Despite being 80 minutes long, for 62 minutes two teams battled in a scoreless affair Monday at Max Gandy Athletic Field.
After countless attacks and numerous saves on both ends of the field, a deadlocked game at halftime seems to be building for a climatic ending.
Unfortunately for Columbia City boys’ soccer it didn’t go in their favor. With deflections, corners and open looks, Leo was able to break through against the Eagles late in the second half winning 2-0.
“We had some opportunities,” said Columbia City head coach Chris Bechtold. “Just two little slips hurt us. The kids played hard though.”
A scoreless first half didn’t go without some opportunities for both teams.
Leo came on the attack early controlling the offensive side of the ball. Columbia City goalie Zach Wiget kept the score deadlocked at 0-0 in the early going making a diving save at the 20 minute mark.
Columbia City counter attacks consisted of breakaways up the middle by senior forward Devin Rice late in the first half.
After a five-goal game in his season debut, Rice struggled to find the goal after several collisions with Leo defenders.
“Devin had some good opportunities and just couldn’t finish,” Bechtold said. “Whether he was fouled or not, the officials didn’t call it but he played hard.”
Rice continued on the attack with an early opening just 2:45 into the second half. A miss hit kept the game scoreless.
While Columbia City got shots off early in the second, Leo took advantage off the Eagles missed shots quickly countering.
The Lions broke through on a break down the sideline that had Jeisson Ruhl assist Alex Egan on a goal from the left side putting Leo up 1-0 with 17:57 remaining.
Not without their chances to tie, the Eagles again had Rice on a breakaway that finished the same with Leo goalie Steven Figgins making a sliding block.
Leo went on to seal the victory on a deflection goal by Brennan Seevers that narrowly got by the outstretched arms of Wiget.
“We had a couple of slips on defense that let the ball through,” Bechtold noted. “It was one verse one against our keeper and they scored both times that way.”
The loss drops Columbia City to 1-1 for the season with a three-game road trip starting at Bellmont Thursday.