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CHS girls stumble against Kearney

March 28, 2019

There was just something missing Tuesday afternoon at Wilderness Park.

The Columbus High girls, fresh off a season-opening week that included two wins in three matches, just couldn’t find it. Offensively, defensively, and, at times, emotionally and mentally, the Discoverers just weren’t quite the same.

Lacking something, the Discoverers saw their record fall to 2-2 with a 3-0 loss to Kearney.

Columbus only managed a handful of shots, failed to put any on frame and fell victim to a Kearney team that made the Discoverers pay for their mistakes.

“The thing is, we talked about it. Right now, there’s choices to be made, and I don’t know if we’re putting ourselves in great situations. In terms of what we talk about, in terms of what we train, it’s just not showing in the games,” coach Luis Pulido said.

“That’s on me. I’ve got to make sure we’re training better.”

Columbus, susceptible to an early goal in its first three matches, gave up another in the 10th minute on Tuesday afternoon. Kearney made it 2-0 16 minutes later when a Bearcat forward blocked a clearing attempt then stepped through two Discoverer defenders, gathered up the loose ball in the penalty area and cashed it in.

A corner kick in the 69th minute made it 3-0 when a header found the foot of a Kearney player near the right post.

Meanwhile, the most Columbus could muster was three corner kicks and a couple shots. The attack was never sustained, and the chances were fleeting due to an inability to string passes together.

Columbus has trailed at some point in every match this season and has only led for 16 minutes of 380 total minutes played.

“It comes down to lapse in focus,” Pulido said. “We’ve been playing teams that don’t always kill you for a lapse in focus. Today, I think we played a team that did. Being two-nil down with 10, 20 minutes, it’s not as easy to come back from that as it is a one-goal deficit.”

Pulido also pointed to some lack of aggression on the attack. Too often, he said, players see the ball on the other side of the field and don’t know how to get involved so they don’t. Changing that mindset, and learning how to affect the game when out of the play, comes down to him, he said.

So too does preparing for every game regardless of how many overtime or shootout matches were played in the days leading up.

“Whether they had a week or we didn’t, it still came down to 80 minutes and what happened in those 80 minutes,” Pulido said. “We didn’t necessarily put ourselves in the best situations this game.”

The Columbus girls are back in action on Thursday against Lincoln Southwest at Wilderness Park at 5 p.m.

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