Vikings attack draws Eagles season to close
Midfielder Tyler Bolinger defends a loose ball against a sliding tackle from Huntington Northâ€™s Isaac Wust. Post & Mail photo / Andrew Shultz
FORT WAYNE — The postseason left a tall order for Columbia City boys’ soccer to take on Thursday night.
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With regular season losses to two of the three teams joining them in the Homestead sectional, the Eagles faced one of those teams in Huntington North.
A relentless series of attacks by both teams took Columbia City into the second half with a one-goal deficit.
The Vikings used two goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half to pull away. Huntington North brought Columbia City’s season to a close on a 4-2 victory that puts them in the championship game against Homestead Saturday night.
“We played hard,” Columbia City head coach Chris Bechtold said. “We weren’t happy that it was 0-1 at halftime but we were right there in it.”
Back in early September, the Eagles played host to the Vikings falling in a 4-1 game.
A fundamental Huntington North team showed up again Thursday with control of the ball.
After Columbia City got a few early shots in on Huntington goalie Kyle Williams, the Vikings began countless attacks on the City goal.
Junior goalkeeper Nick Hatfield managed to keep Huntington scoreless through the first 20 minutes of the half with diving saves and a point blank block of a high shot on goal from Isaac Wust with 23 minutes left before halftime.
Wust broke through just a few minutes later at the 20:19 mark for the only goal of the first half.
Columbia City nearly replied less than a minute later when a shot from senior Austin Porter was blocked on a fingertip save by Williams.
Wust struck early in the second half for Huntington on back-to-back assists from Colin Downey.
Downey’s two assists put Huntington up 3-0 with 26:24 remaining while Wust recorded a hat trick.
Columbia City got on the board at the 21:43 mark with junior Bradey Mullett putting in a pass from Porter.
The Vikings didn’t take long to reply on a corner cross to Kyle Jolas for the header goal.
Porter added a late goal as the Eagles continued to fight. With 6:53 left, Porter took a pass from fellow senior Devin Rice to cut the lead down to two goals 4-2.
“I’m extremely proud of these boys,” Bechtold noted. “Coming out and playing hard the entire game against a very good Huntington North team that was 10-5.
“I couldn’t ask for anything else from our seniors. They came to practice every day and worked hard. They gave everything they had every game.”
The career of six seniors ends along with the season (Grant Wood, Devin Rice, Matt Marty, Tyler Peterson, Austin Porter, Jordan Esterline.
Wood, Rice, Porter and Esterline were also selected to the 2010 class 3A East-West All-Stars.