The Columbus Men’s soccer team dominated with a win of 4-3 over the Grangers Wednesday night, securing the 4A region title.
This game was the first time since 2018 that the men's soccer team was region champion. “It was like a weight lifted off our shoulders knowing that we once again accomplished a major goal,” noted Coach Torres.
The Blue Devils were able to put up points early into the game with goals made by Michael Wood(12), Bridger Jones(12), and Damien Fekete(10).
“Going ahead so early in the game is dangerous, especially against quality opponents like LaGrange,” remarked Coach Torres, “[but] at the same time it’s a confidence boost because you know you are good enough to win.”
Fekete scored the first goal in the 4th minute of the game from a low cross by Dante after a quick throw down the left side.
Two minutes later, Jones took a shot after a sequence of short passes in the midfield and then a lofted-through ball by Eugene Autry(11).
Shortly after, LaGrange answered those two goals by scoring their first goal in the 13th minute, after earning a free kick outside of the CHS penalty box.
Halfway into the first half, Wood scored the third and fourth goal putting CHS ahead 4-1. The first goal was after Dante Johnson(12) was fouled in the penalty box. Following that goal, Wood shot a corner kick crossed in by Jacob Entlich (10).
Late into the first half, LaGrange responded with a goal that was made by a long throw-in, which ultimately resulted in the collision of CHS goalie, Ryan Collins (9), and a LaGrange attacking player.
During halftime, CHS decided not to make major changes, instead they, “focused on addressing some minor issues in terms of marking and positioning that would allow us to take more control of the game,” expressed Coach Torres.
In the second half, Lagrange scored the third goal by another throw-in. The attacker dribbled the ball into the box and scored after a few rebounds from the CHS defender's attempted clearances, 15 minutes before the game was over.
At the end of the game, #1 Ryan Collins, was announced as the player of the game- averaging a total of 54 saves for the season so far and 4.2 saves per game.
This victory did not come easy though; the team prepared for the competition by watching film and practicing potential solutions to challenges that could appear on game day. During the practices, the practice team played in the same formation as LaGrange to get an idea of possibilities that could take place on the field.
Fekete, #22, spoke on the regional championship, “I’m happy we were able to show that we’re the best team in the region. However, the job isn’t over, as our main goal is winning the state championship of course.”