For The Tribune
After edging Seymour for the Hoosier Hills Conference girls soccer championship less than two weeks ago, Columbus East took things one notch higher Saturday evening.
Again, the Olympians slipped past the Owls, this time for the sectional crown.
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Columbus East’s 1-0 victory capped off a sweep at Richard Wigh Soccer Complex as the Olympians also captured the boys’ title earlier in the day, also against Seymour.
The Olympians (10-4-5) will now battle New Castle at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the regional semifinals at East Central. The regional title game will be at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Throughout most of the contest, Columbus East hammered away at Seymour until finally cashing in on a breakdown in the second half. Senior Brooklyn Taulman booted in the lone score in the 63rd minute after teammate Mila Lipinski’s corner kick bounced off a couple of Owls defenders before landing close to the net and within Taluman’s striking range.
After outshooting Seymour (7-10-3) 10-3 throughout the game, the Olympians took their lead and turned their focus on defense. The Owls made several attempts to answer back offensively, and each attempt came up empty.
Seymour’s closest chance to tie the action came with less than two minutes remaining, but its corner kick was knocked down and kicked away by Columbus East.
“The girls gave it everything they had,” Seymour coach Greg Musser said. “We were ready to play this game and got close to accomplishing our goal of winning it. The gap between us and East is getting closer, and I’m confident we’ll be even closer in the future.”
The Owls burned a lot of energy on defense as they recorded several clear-outs to go along with five saves by keeper Rachel Collett.
Meanwhile, the Olympians displayed their own staunch defense as they intercepted or deflected multiple Seymour passes. Senior keeper Bryn Eudy finished with one save as she got strong help from defenders Morgan Martindale, Ella Rohlfs, Lipinski and Kayla Gastineau.
“All of the girls fought hard out there,” Columbus East coach Ilya Schwartzman said. “Seymour made us work for every inch and never gave up.”