Discoverers sweep Lutheran High Northeast soccer
It had been over 270 minutes since the Columbus High girls soccer team had sent a ball into the net. That scoreless streak ended in dramatic fashion on Tuesday when sophomore Alexis Haynes scored against Lutheran High Northeast/Norfolk Catholic early in the second half for a 1-0 Columbus victory.
The Discoverers were beaten 1-0 the last time out on an overtime winner by Lincoln Southwest and had suffered a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Kearney two days earlier.
In terms of regulation, it had been since a win at Fremont on March 22 since Columbus last scored during regular time.
“It felt great,” Haynes said. “We’ve been practicing doing that and just to be there and score was awesome. It just makes me want to score again and keep going. It was just awesome.
“I was just like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe it finally went in.’ This is my sophomore year and I hope I just keep building and getting even better.”
The win improved the Columbus girls to 3-3 and gave the Discoverers their first win since that overtime victory at Fremont.
“I think today we played a team that let us have the ball,” said head coach Luis Pulido. “The decisions we were making with it just weren’t there. I’ve said it before, we’re learning lessons as we go through. It’s nice to learn them and win at the same time, so there’s that positive.”
Columbus had multiple opportunities in the first half to score but failed to take advantage of those early chances.
Pulido said when the team started taking calculated chances it made the difference.
“We were glad because that was a smart shot,” he said of Haynes’ goal. “We had talked in the first half, we were sending balls in the area, but we were doing it from like 40 yards out.
“By the time they were getting to the goalie, they were rolling. It was good that we were finally taking shots from the key areas.”
The Discoverer girls will now travel to North Platte for the GNAC Tournament over the weekend.
Columbus will face off against Scottsbluff in the first round on Friday.
The CHS boys also picked up a win Tuesday defeating LHNE/NC by 10-0 Mercy Rule in the 65th minute.
The Discovers jumped out to a hot start scoring five goals in the first 12 minutes.
Boys head coach John Arlt mentioned three areas of focus he had for Columbus going into the game.
“I had three concerns; one, you want to get through the game with no injuries. Two, what would our level of play be and three, would we keep our intensity up as the game went on.
“One, we didn’t get anyone hurt. Two, I thought our level of play was good and three our intensity dropped a little bit but that’s somewhat understandable.”
Junior Ivan Lopez found the back of the net four times during the 65 minutes including two goals in the first four minutes of the game.
“It boosts my confidence a lot knowing that after three games I had one goal and now to score four in one game really means a lot to me,” Lopez said. “I hope to continue this.”
Other goal scorers include senior Francisco Amador, Garrett Esch, Blake Thompson and Juan Rodriguez.
Arlt had high praise for Lopez after the game.
“He’s one of our better players, and I think he’s one of the better forwards in the state,” he said. “He’s strong, he’s fast, he’s got great skill. I honestly think he could have set a school record tonight.”
Coming into the game, it appeared that CHS may have an advantage on the field, but Lopez said the team attempts to keep its intensity no matter the opponent.
“Before every game, we treat it as if they’re better than us,” he said. “We treat it as we have to play as hard as we can as hard as we know how to play and we just keep the motivation going.
“We’ve done that since I was a freshman. No matter what the score is we have to play our hearts out (and) we have to try to get another goal in. We have to treat it as if we just started the game.”
This win brings the Discoverers record to 4-1 on the season.
Like the girls, the boys team is also preparing for the conference tournament.
The boys earned a bye and will play the winner of North Platte and Scottsbluff on Saturday.
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org