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A win-less start and zero scored goals marked the beginning of Highland’s soccer team and they knew they needed to mix something up to get things done. The last two games they’ve stepped up, scoring six goals and winning their first game of the season.
Their first win came against Wapello last Tuesday as Zane Arnold put two in the net; Owen Donovan scored; and Jordan Sosa scored, to give Highland a 4-1 win. They followed that up by taking an early lead against Columbus, but couldn’t hold on and lost 5-2.
Donovan said this two-game stretch has given the team some confidence and shown that with a few fixes they can put together a solid effort.
“At the beginning of the season we got beat 10-0, I think, three times. These last three games we’ve been in them,” Donovan said. “It’s just a good feeling because you know we’re putting something together and becoming solid and can do something as a team.”
In the Columbus game, Jordan Sosa played a ball in from the wing into the box and a miscommunication between a defender and the goalkeeper on the responsibility led to an own goal and a 1-0 Highland led just six minutes into the contest.
Highland defended well against the Columbus attack the next 20 minutes and goalie Cory Stewart had some nice saves during the period, but after a ton of chances Columbus found the net and tied things up with 11:39 remaining in the first half.
The game looked likely to go into halftime in a tie, but a solid lob pass to the Columbus striker gave them the 2-1 lead with less than a minute left in the half.
Coming out of halftime, Columbus struck first by getting a second opportunity off a deflection off of Stewart.
A bad goal kick gave Columbus their next goal with 31:35 remaining in the half and that gave the Wildcats a 4-1 lead.
Just a few minutes later Donovan scored, but he was called offside in a close call. With 17:32 remaining Sosa nearly netted a goal of his own.
The final goal of the game for Highland came on a corner kick that sailed directly into the middle of the box where Donovan was waiting wide open and kneed it in.
“I think they just weren’t paying enough attention to me. I usually came in at the last second so I don’t think they expected me to be down there so early on the corner,” Donovan said.
The goal was nearly point blank, giving the goalie no opportunity to save and cutting the lead to 4-2.
Columbus then scored the game’s final goal with 2:40 remaining to push the lead to 5-2.
Highland now has a 1-6 record and will play at Holy Trinity on April 26.
Highland: 1; 1; 2
Columbus: 2; 3; 5
Owen Donovan 1