First-half flurry lifts Olympians past Owls

For The Tribune


After falling behind Columbus East 4-0 at halftime in Saturday’s East Sectional final, Seymour boys soccer coach Matt Dennis talked to his team about playing with passion in the second half.

Although the Owls weren’t able to make a comeback in the final 40 minutes, they did limit the Olympians to one goal, and Seymour managed to outshoot Columbus East 5-3 in the second half of a 5-0 season-ending loss.

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“We just wanted to play with passion,” Dennis said. “We played real hard in the first half, and we just wanted to show everybody what we could do in the second half.”

The Olympians (12-4-1) advance to the Columbus North Regional, where it will meet East Central in the semifinals at 8 p.m. Thursday. The championship match is at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Columbus East got on the board in the 11th minute when Sam Newell buried a free kick from 30 yards. But a few minutes later, the Owls (11-6-2) had a couple of chances to tie the game. They had a corner kick in the 16th minute and a free kick in the 17th minute, and Matthew Pyle sent a shot just wide in the 18th minute.

After that, the rest of the first half was all Columbus East. Nieto finished a long pass from Glass in the 29th minute, Andrew Thomasson finished another lead pass from Glass in the 35th minute and Nieto scored off a cross from Thomasson in the 29th minute to give the Olympians a 4-0 halftime lead.

Columbus East added its final goal in the 53rd minute when Israel Reyna headed in a corner kick from Nieto.

“I thought our attack was creative, dynamic and unpredictable, and that is very difficult to defend,” East coach Brad Barber said. “That free-flowing attack, if we continue to play that way, we’ll be difficult for teams coming up in the tournament. I hope we can carry that positive momentum going forward.”

Seymour nearly scored in the game’s final minute when Brantley Adams put one off the left post, then had his follow shot saved by Andy Davidson.

The Olympians finished with a 15-11 shot advantage, putting eight shots on goal to two for the Owls. Seymour’s Austin Hatfield recorded three saves.

“I’m proud of the boys, and I’m proud of the way they fought,” Dennis said. “These seniors are going to be missed.”