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Columbus High girls complete comeback over Norfolk

March 22, 2019

Columbus High junior Sofia Gomez swears she practices that exact type of shot all the time. Based on her reaction though, you might guess that not too many of those attempts go in.

Regardless, Discoverer fans will long remember the one that did in Thursday’s 1-1 (3-1) shootout victory over Norfolk.

Gomez took a crack from the right sideline, 25 yards from frame, bent it around the Panther keeper playing off her line and tied the match 1-1 in the final two minutes. Columbus High then won it in a shootout scoring three times to just once from Norfolk.

With the win, the Discoverer girls evened up their record at 1-1 after suffering a 2-1 overtime defeat to Grand Island on Monday. They won’t have long to recover though. CHS is back in action Friday at Fremont.

“I’ve been practicing those shots in practice, and we’ve been practicing those because we know it’s something I can do. When I hit it I was like, ‘I really hope this one goes in,’ and then when it did...oh my gosh, what a crazy moment,” Gomez said.

“It was awesome. My team, they had been kicking butt the whole time. I just wanted it so bad. I just hit it. I just let it go.”

To be honest though, Gomez’s shot was also somewhat out of desperation. Norfolk scored in the first five minutes of the match and carried the play through much of the first 40 minutes.

Columbus began to find brief periods of offense in the second half but still couldn’t sustain a consistent attack. With time winding down and unable to create shots in or near the penalty area, Gomez instead chose to let one fire from well outside the box.

“Their keeper was playing pretty aggressive, and when (Gomez) went to take the shot I looked at the keeper and thought, ‘Why are you shooting it from there? No, don’t do it,’” coach Luis Pulido said. “But the keeper had been coming out on those type of balls and the moment she realized it was going over her head it was too late.”

As fantastic as the goal was, it only tied the game at 1-1. Work still had to be done.

Norfolk had the best chance in the first half of overtime, nudging a ball just past the right post. Columbus saw an opportunity with a bad clearance late in the second half of overtime but couldn’t capitalize.

Gomez missed her PK in the shootout but two other teammates found the net while Heule saved one Norfolk shot and two others went high and wide of the cage.

Molly Roberts finished it in the fourth frame, burying a shot left of the keeper completing the comeback win.

“It was an awesome moment,” Gomez said. “My girls worked so hard, we all worked so hard and just wanted it so bad. We left it all on the field, and that’s all I can ask for.”

Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sports@columbustelegram.com