Columbus girls earn road win at North Star

April 11, 2019

Columbus High girls soccer returned to the field Tuesday after two tough losses at the GNAC Tournament over the weekend and returned to the win column in a 2-1 victory at Lincoln North Star.

In a match that featured all of the scoring in the first half. The Navigators scored three minutes in before the Discoverers answered two minutes later. They then took the lead for good late in the half and hung on the rest of the way improving to 5-5 on the season.

Alexis Haynes scored the first goal assisted by Katelyn Lantis. Madison Jenny had the game-winner five minutes before halftime.

“We needed that one for sure. That game against Hastings, that’s one we should have won,” coach Luis Pulido said. “It was good to get back in the win column.”

Columbus defeated Scottsbluff 2-0 in the play-in game of the GNAC Tournament last Friday before suffering tough defeats the following day, 1-0 to North Platte then to Hastings in a shootout.

Columbus led the third-place match against the Tigers until they tied it up with eight minutes to go. Despite being 5-5, it was one of the few times the Discoverers have led this season.

Tuesday in Lincoln, they were again playing from behind but answered right away.

Pulido said Lantis scored half the goal on her own, setting up Haynes with a through ball after winning possession at midfield. Haynes then just had to finish though it was with her left foot.

“We’ve talked about (always playing from behind). We’ve sat down in a classroom and talked about different things about how we can maintain focus. Right now, that’s kind of what we’re working on,” Pulido said. “I’m really big into how you do things and form. We’ve had games where we were not doing the right things. This wasn’t one of those games. We won the game, and we played well.”

Jenny scored the game-winner working her way through the defense then dribbling in on goal where she finished for a lead that stood up the rest of the way.

“Second half, they had the possession, but we understood they were pushing a lot of numbers forward. We’ve trained it well enough that we can defend with seven players and our keeper, so we were just kind of looking to counter,” Pulido said. “We created a lot of chances from that.

“We had a couple of chances their goalie made saves on, and they had a few chances at our goalie, but Addi Heule had some pretty good saves.”

Columbus was scheduled to return to North Platte on Thursday for a rematch with the Bulldogs though it seems a late-season burst of winter weather may prevent that matchup.

From the Discoverers’ perspective, missing the chance at a rematch of a 1-0 loss would be disappointing.

“Knowing now how the season has gone, being right at .500 is kind of what we might expect. But there are games when the girls look back, we knew we should have won,” Pulido said. “I can think of at least three.

“For the team, we played (Tuesday), and how we played it, this was our best game. We tried some new stuff because every game we notice something new. We saw a lot of good things.”

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